This comprehensive book provides new insights into the morphological, metabolic, thermoregulatory, locomotory, diving, sensory, feeding, and sleep adaptations of Cetacea (whales and dolphins), Pinnipedia (seals, sea lions and walrus), Sirenia (manatees and dugongs) and sea otters for an aquatic life. Each chapter reviews the discoveries from previous studies and integrates recent research using new techniques and technology. Readers will gain an understanding of the remarkable adaptations that enable marine mammals to spend all or most of their lives at sea, often while hunting prey at depth.
Randall William Davis is an educator and researcher who studies the physiology and behavioral ecology of marine mammals and other aquatic vertebrates. His physiological research focuses on adaptations of marine mammals for deep, prolonged diving. Davis has continually emphasized the importance of studying aquatic animals in their natural environment and has spent many years developing animal-borne instruments that record video and monitor three-dimensional movements, swimming performance and environmental variables to better understand their behavior and ecology. His academic endeavors and 95 research expeditions have taken him to 64 countries and territories on seven continents and all of the world's oceans.
1. Introduction.- 2. Return to the Sea: The Evolution of Marine Mammals.- 3. Respiration and the Effects of Pressure.- 4. Metabolism and Thermoregulation.- 5. Locomotion.- 6. Physiological and Metabolic Adaptations for Breath-hold Diving.- 7. Sensory Systems.- 8. Feeding and Digestion.- 9. Sleep
"This book is the culmination of a tremendous amount of time digging into the scientific literature, and I think that the author has done an excellent job of presenting and summarizing all of this information." (William D. Halliday, The Canadian Field-Naturalist, Vol. 134, 2020)
This comprehensive book provides new insights into the physiological and behavioral adaptations of marine mammals for an aquatic life. It presents a detailed discussion of the anatomical, metabolic, thermoregulatory, locomotory, diving and behavioral adaptations of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walrus), sirenians (manatees and dugongs) and sea otters. The results are based on research using new technology, especially advances made during the past 25 years. Readers will gain an understanding of the remarkable adaptations that enable marine mammals to spend months at sea and make deep, long dives in pursuit of prey.