The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Marine Mammals

Cover of Marine Mammals

Authors: Chris & Mathilde Stuart

Number of pages: 72

Year published: 2021

Edition: 1st

Published by: Struik Nature


ISBN: 978 1 77584 789 2

The Wildebeest's Review of "Marine Mammals"

The Wildebeest reviewing a book

Sometimes good things come in small packages and that is the case with this book. It is a mere 72 pages long and A5 in size, but it is really packed with illustrations, photos, and text. “Marine Mammals” is written by Chris and Mathilde Stuart who are prolific authors of books covering Southern African, and indeed African, mammals and wild places.

The book is divided into two main sections. The first 25 pages cover all aspects of whale and dolphin biology, habits, and identification features. There is some interesting information in this section but, unfortunately, some sections are brief and left me considering going to Google to find out more information. The second section contains information on 45 species of whales, dolphins, and seals. At the end of the book there is a brief section on the conservation of marine mammals.

“Marine Mammals” is full of high-quality photos and other artwork. Each species of whale and dolphin is illustrated in colour with useful identification features highlighted. There are colour photos of many of the species as well. The accompanying texts provides further identification tips as well as describing interesting behavioural traits. There are also notes on the best times and places to view these fascinating mammals. Unfortunately, for many of us, we are unlikely to ever encounter species that are found away from the southern African coastline. Maybe one day I will meet you on a trip of a lifetime to the Southern Ocean!

Overall, I think that this is an interesting and useful book. It is a convenient size to take with you on your next holiday at the coast. Even if you aren’t going anywhere near the coast any time soon you will enjoy reading it cover to cover and admiring the beautiful illustrations.

Some of the subjects in this publication

Common Minke Whale - Page: 28
Antarctic Minke Whale - Page: 28
Brydes Whale - Page: 29
Sei Whale - Page: 30
Fin Whale - Page: 31
Blue Whale - Page: 32
Humpback Whale - Page: 34
Southern Right Whale - Page: 36
Pygmy Right Whale - Page: 38
Layards Beaked Whale - Page: 39
Hectors Beaked Whale - Page: 40
Blainvilles Beaked Whale - Page: 40
Arnouxs Beaked Whale - Page: 40
Southern Bottlenose Whale - Page: 40
Shepherds Beaked Whale - Page: 41
Cuviers Beaked Whale - Page: 41
Trues Beaked Whale - Page: 41
Grays Beaked Whale - Page: 41
Sperm Whale - Page: 42
Pygmy Sperm Whale - Page: 44
Dwarf Sperm Whale - Page: 44
Southern Right Whale Dolphin - Page: 45
Killer Whale - Page: 46
False Killer Whale - Page: 48
Pygmy Killer Whale - Page: 49
Short-finned Pilot Whale - Page: 50
Long-finned Pilot Whale - Page: 51
Rissos Dolphin - Page: 52
Heavisides Dolphin - Page: 53
Dusky Dolphin - Page: 54
Hourglass Dolphin - Page: 55
Indian Humpback Dolphin - Page: 56
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin - Page: 57
Striped Dolphin - Page: 58
Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin - Page: 59
Bottlenosed Dolphin - Page: 59
Common Dolphin - Page: 60
Cape Fur Seal - Page: 64
Antarctic Fur Seal - Page: 65
Subantarctic Fur Seal - Page: 65
Southern Elephant Seal - Page: 66
Crabeater Seal - Page: 67
Leopard Seal - Page: 68
Weddell Seal - Page: 69
Ross Seal - Page: 70


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