Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World's Largest Animal

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Macmillan, Oct 14, 2008 - Nature - 336 pages

The blue whale holds the title of largest creature that has ever lived, and it may also be the most mysterious. The biggest blue whales can outweigh every player in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League combined. Their mouths can gulp more than thirteen thousand gallons of seawater. A newborn can be over twenty feet long and gain nearly twenty tons in seven months—about eight pounds per hour. Blue whales emit more powerful sounds than any other animal on earth, though many of their vocalizations are beyond the range of human hearing.
Yet nearly everything that we have learned about blue whales has come after humans almost wiped them out from the oceans. A century ago, some three hundred thousand roamed the seas. But in the first decades of the twentieth century, humans hunted and killed 99.9% of them. Their numbers decimated, the species seemed destined for extinction. Only in recent years has the number slowly begun to increase, along with hope for the blue whale's future.
Equal parts history and science, Wild Blue is the first comprehensive portrait of the blue whale. It draws upon new findings from scientists who have begun to identify individual blue whales and understand how they dive, how they feed, where they migrate, and why they emit their haunting, low-frequency calls. With deft, poignant writing, Dan Bortolotti gives us the most vibrant, breathtaking view to date of these magnificent creatures.


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WILD BLUE: A Natural History of the World's Largest Animal

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Balancing comfortably on the cusp between popular and scientifically detailed narrative, Bortolotti (Exploring Saturn, 2003) summarizes our current knowledge concerning the blue whale.He engages ... Read full review


Authors Note Preface
Into the Blue
The Greatest
Back to the
St Lawrence Blues
West Coast Blues
Blues Clues
The 79Foot Pygmy and Other Stories
Blue Genes
Why Size Matters
The Future Is Blue

Blue Notes

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About the author (2008)

Dan Bortolotti has published seven books of nonfiction, including Hope in Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders, and has twice been nominated for the Science in Society Book Award, given by the Canadian Science Writers' Association. His writing has appeared in more than two dozen magazines in North America. He lives with his family just outside of Toronto.

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