Annalisa Berta is Professor of Biology in the Department of Biology at San Diego State University, San Diego, California and a Research Associate at the San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego, California and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. She is an evolutionary biologist who for the last 30 years has been studying the anatomy, evolution and systematics of fossil and living marine mammals, especially pinnipeds and whales. She is a past President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and former Senior Editor of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and Associate Editor of Marine Mammal Science. She has written 100 scientific papers and several books for the specialist as well as non-scientist including Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals, 2012, (University of California Press) and the forthcoming book (summer, 2015) Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises: a natural history and species guide (University of Chicago Press).
James Sumich is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Grossmont College and is the author of a popular book on gray whales. He has conducted research on gray whales from British Columbia to Baja California for four decades and has taught marine mammal course for nearly that long. His research has focused on the ecological physiology of baleen whales, especially the energetics of their seasonal fasting migrations.
Kit M. Kovacs is the Biodiversity Research Program Leader for the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø Norway and a Professor of Biology at University Studies on Svalbard (UNIS). She has worked with marine mammals in Polar Regions for the past 30 years, focusing primarily on studies in the fields of behavioral ecology and population biology. The impact of climate change on ice-associated species has been a topic of principal concern in recent years in her research projects. She is author/co-author of more than 200 primary publications and the author/editor of ten books and numerous popular articles.
FROM THE FIRST EDITION “This book is so good...a bargain, full of riches...packed with fascinating up to date information. I recommend it unreservedly it to individuals, students, and researchers, as well as libraries." --Richard M. Laws, MARINE MAMMALS SCIENCE
"...establishes a solid and satisfying foundation for current study and future exploration" --Ronald J. Shusterman, SCIENCE
Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich serve as witnesses in this trial of human neglect, where the charge is the massive and escalating assault on living things. Nature is being annihilated, not only because of the human population explosion, but also as a result of massive commercial endeavors and public apathy. Despite the well-intentioned work of conservation organizations and governments, the authors warn us that not enough is being done and time is short for the most vulnerable of the world’s wild birds and mammals. Thousands of populations have already disappeared, other populations are dwindling daily, and soon our descendants may live in a world containing but a minuscule fraction of the birds and mammals we know today.
The Annihilation of Nature is a clarion call for engagement and action. These outspoken scientists urge everyone who cares about nature to become personally connected to the victims of our inadequate conservation efforts and demand that restoration replace destruction. Only then will we have any hope of preventing the worst-case scenario of the sixth mass extinction.
This edition continues to meet the research-focused needs of marine biologists and conservation biologists by providing a tremendous influx of new photos, taking advantage of advances in digital and auto-focusing photography, and the emergence of marine mammal studies and "whalewatching" around the world. The book encompasses cetacean, pinniped, and sirenian species, as well as extinct species, and describes basic biology and taxonomic groupings of marine mammals.Contains superb photographs of every species of marine mammal for accurate identificationAuthors possess nearly 80 years of collective experience with almost all of the species and distinctive geographic forms described in the guideProvides the most detailed and anatomically accurate illustrations currently available, including more than 750 new illustrationsSpecial emphasis is placed on the identification of species in "problem groups," such as the beaked whales, long-beaked oceanic dolphins, and southern fur sealsIncludes a detailed list of sources for more informationContains updated taxonomy including four new species