Recommended books on marine mammals

Here is a selection of titles that I use regularly or enjoyed reading. New suggestions for the list are always welcome! In case you want to get your hands on any of these recommended books, I have added direct links to appropriate on-line stores such as

A complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife: the birds and marine mammals of the Antarctic Continent and Southern Ocean by Hadoram Shirihai and Brett Jarrett (2002) Alula Press, Degerby, Finland. Seabird and mammal fans alike will want this superb new guide to the wildlife of the great Southern Ocean, including the subantarctic islands and continent of Antarctica. There is a stunning amount of information packed into the 510 pages, with hundreds of superb colour photographs and more than thirty-five excellent field guide-style painted plates by illustrator Brett Jarrett.  Click here for a more extensive review and some sample scans. The book is published by Alula Press, an offshoot of the superb Finnish birding magazine, but according to author Hadoram Shirihai, will soon be released in the United States in the near future by Princeton University Press. To put it simply, no pelagic birder or whale watcher worth his salt should be without it! (Added 23 Sept 2002)

National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World (National Audubon Society Field Guide Series) by Randall R. Reeves, Brent S. Stewart, Phillip J. Clapham, James A. Powell and Pieter Folkens (illustrator). Paperback: 528 pages;  Publisher: Knopf; ISBN: 0375411410; Published April 2, 2002. The most complete and up-to-date fieldguide to marine mammals (cetaceans, pinniped etc) on the market. Packed with reliable information from a panel of expert authors. The extensive collection of photographs complements the paintings nicely and many of the images are really outstanding. Highly recommended to anyone going offshore.

Dolphins of the World by Ben Wilson. Published December,1998. 132 pages. Published by Voyageur Press (ISBN: 0896584003). Cover of the european edition is shown. An excellent overview of dolphin biology that should belong in every seagoing naturalists library. The highly readable text is supplemented with superb colour photographs showing a a good variety of species including a few rarities. Click here to purchase Ben Wilson's Dolphins of the World from

Bottlenose Dolphins by Paul Thompson and Ben Wilson. First published May, 1994. 72 pages. Published by Voyageur Press (ISBN: 0896585263) Updated edition (August 2001). Highly accessible account of the natural history of Bottlenosed Dolphins. Thompson and Wilson are authorities on the large Bottlenose Dolphins found in northern European waters. The lively text is accompanied by superb photos taken by the authors and others, illustrating important aspects of dolphin biology. Great reading and an ideal gift for budding dolphin enthusiasts. Click here to purchase Bottlenose Dolphins from

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the Eastern North Pacific and Adjacent Arctic Waters: A Guide to Their Identification by Stephen Leatherwood, Randall R. Reeves, William F. Perrin, William E. Evans. Paperback: 245 pages; Publisher: Dover Pubns; ISBN: 0486256510; revised edition (November 1988) Also available in hardcover (1998). Packed with interesting black-and-white photographs including a number of uncommon species. Recommended for more serious whale watching enthusiasts.

Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises Paperback - 256 pages Flexi edition (April 1995), DK Publishing (ISBN: 1564586200) Another "must have" for pelagic enthusiasts!! This is probably the best field guide to the whales and dolphins of the world currently available. Very simple to use and packed full of identification tips and fascinating nuggets of information. Don't go to sea without it! Click here to purchase  DK Handbooks: Whales Dolphins and Porpoises from

The illustrated encyclopedia of Whales and Dolphins by Anthony Martin et al. New York: Portland House, 1990. Out of print?

Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins by Stephen Leatherwood, Randall Reaves, Randall R. Reeves, Larry
Foster (Photographer). Paperback - 302 pages (October 1983) Sierra Club Books; ISBN: 0871563401 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.59 x 7.96 x 4.55
Click here to purchase the Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins from

Marine Mammals of the World by Dale W. Rice. Special Publication Number 4 of The Society of Marine Mammology.
A detailed catalogue of species and subspecies. Packed with fascinating information.

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine. Paperback Reprint edition published in November 1992 by Ballantine Books (ISBN: 0345371984). Although not specifically about marine mammals, there is an interesting chapter on the last of the Chinese River Dolphins. Definitely a very good read and ideal for the plane ride on your next expedition! The late Douglas Adams - of 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' fame - writes with characteristic wit and thoughtfulness about the various expeditions that he and zoologist Mark Carwardine undertook in hopes of finding some of the rarest animals in the world. Click here to purchase Last Chance to See from 

Page and photos copyright of Angus Wilson© 2003 All rights reserved.

More books and videos about oceanic birds and mammals
Guide to the best pelagic locations in the World
Annotated list of the World's Seabirds
Annotated list of the World's Marine Mammals
Main Photo Archive
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