Google+

October 20, 2014

Subscribe to SLJ

Pick of the Day: The Dolphins of Shark Bay

DOplhins Pick of the Day: The Dolphins of Shark Baystar Pick of the Day: The Dolphins of Shark BayTURNER, Pamela S. The Dolphins of Shark Bay. 80p. (Scientists in the Field Series). diag. further reading. index. maps. photos. websites. Houghton Mifflin. Nov. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN .

Gr 5-9–Turner’s newest offering tops even her stellar The Frog Scientist (2009) and Project Seahorse (2010, both Houghton Mifflin) as she delineates and explains the research being conducted on a unique clan of dolphins at Shark Bay, Australia. The lucid text reveals the complexities of this cetacean society, first as a whole, then by delving into smaller sets of male groupings and female/calf relationships. Researcher Janet Mason and her team arrived in Shark Bay in 1988, following in the footsteps of Richard Connor and Rachel Smolker, whose initial studies had attracted Mason to this special environment. Turner joined the team in their research expeditions and carefully documents such topics as foraging and hunting techniques, maternal care, social interactions (including sexual behaviors), echolocation, intelligence, and tool use. Individual dolphins get a lot of attention as well–Nicky, a bad mother; Puck, a terrific one; Reggae, a beach hunter; Dodger, an expert sponger, among others. Clear color photos accompany the text, along with two pages of “More About Dolphins,” a brief list of books/films (all adult), and a quick update on some of the humans and dolphins mentioned in the book. Readers come away with an amazing, if sometimes blurred vision of a culture different from their own, in an alien environment with language, mores, and behaviors that they can only partially understand, and a crystal clear perspective of scientists trying to interpret what they see. A challenging, attractive eye-opener.–Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Share
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*