Cetaceans: we think of them as “smart,” but what does that mean in creatures so different from us? Their environment is under the sea, their bodies are adapted for swimming, yet, like us, they are mammals with complex brains. If you’ve ever wondered what use a whale, dolphin, or porpoise makes of that brain, Deep Thinkers: Inside the Minds of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises (Chicago, $35), edited by Georgetown professor Janet Mann, will give you some insight. As an overview of cetacean research, Mann and her contributors, who each bring their own expertise in marine mammal research, go from brain structure to cognition, communication, society, and culture, giving examples of the animals forming social groups, using tools, and hunting cooperatively. Each chapter is broken down into two- or three-page topics interspersed with graphics and vivid photographs of animals—alone, in groups, or interacting with humans. This clearly written and thoughtfully organized book makes it easy to understand the cetaceans’ place in what has become our world, filled with the threats to their existence, such as pollution, that we caused, but also changes we can make to maintain their presence in the seas.
Deep Thinkers: Inside the Minds of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises - Janet Mann
Submitted by lluncheon on Wed, 2017-11-22 10:19
Published: University of Chicago Press - October 11th, 2017