Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of The Rise of Marine Mammals
Cover image of The Rise of Marine Mammals
Share this Title:

The Rise of Marine Mammals

50 Million Years of Evolution

Annalisa Berta
graphics editor James L. Sumich

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy

A compelling look at the evolutionary history of marine mammals over the past 50 million years.

Marine mammals have long captured the attention of humans. Ancient peoples etched seals and dolphins on the walls of Paleolithic caves; today, engineers develop microprocessors to track these denizens of the deep. This groundbreaking book from highly respected marine mammal paleontologist Annalisa Berta delves into the story of the extraordinary adaptations that gave the world these amazing animals. The Rise of Marine Mammals reveals remarkable fossil record discoveries that shed light on the origins…

A compelling look at the evolutionary history of marine mammals over the past 50 million years.

Marine mammals have long captured the attention of humans. Ancient peoples etched seals and dolphins on the walls of Paleolithic caves; today, engineers develop microprocessors to track these denizens of the deep. This groundbreaking book from highly respected marine mammal paleontologist Annalisa Berta delves into the story of the extraordinary adaptations that gave the world these amazing animals. The Rise of Marine Mammals reveals remarkable fossil record discoveries that shed light on the origins, relationships, and diversification of marine mammals.

Focusing on evolution and paleobiology, Berta provides an overview of marine mammal species diversity, enhanced with gorgeous life restorations by Carl Buell, Robert Boessenecker, William Stout, and Ray Troll and extensive line drawings by graphics editor James L. Sumich. The book also considers ongoing conservation challenges, demonstrating how the fossil record of adaptation in response to past environmental shifts may illuminate the way that marine mammals respond to global climate change. This invaluable evolutionary framework is essential for helping us understand how best to protect and conserve today’s polar bears, whales, dolphins, seals, and fellow warm-blooded ocean dwellers.

The Rise of Marine Mammals also describes exciting breakthroughs that rely on new techniques of study, including 3-D imaging, and molecular, finite element, and morphometric analyses, which have enhanced scientists’ understanding of everything from the anatomy of fetal whales to the genes behind limb loss in cetaceans. Mammalogists, paleontologists, and marine scientists will find Berta’s insights absorbing, while developmental and molecular biologists, geneticists, and ecologists exploring integrative research approaches will benefit from her fresh perspective.

Reviews

Reviews

Mammalogists, paleontologists, and marine scientists will find Berta’s insights absorbing, while developmental and molecular biologists, geneticists, and ecologists exploring integrative research approaches will benefit from her fresh perspective.

The Rise of Marine Mammals is an impressive introduction to its subject and an important contribution to zoological literature.

Overall, this is a thorough review of the evolution of marine mammals, ideal for students of vertebrate paleontology who wish to study the taxonomy of these groups and for professionals who may use it as an up-to-date reference work. The volume is an excellent addition to paleontology collections.

This is a beautifully illustrated, comprehensive introduction to the fossil record of some of the most interesting evolutionary transformations within mammals... The Rise of Marine Mammals is a fact-filled, well-illustrated volume that will be much appreciated by anyone who is looking to learn about where, when, and how these fascinating animals arose.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
8.5
x
11
Pages
216
ISBN
9781421423258
Illustration Description
27 color photos, 68 color illus., 79 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Setting the Stage
2. The Oldest Marine Mammals
3. Later- Diverging Whales
4. Aquatic Carnivorans
5. Crown Sirenians and Their Desmostylian Relatives
6. Aquatic Sloths and Recent

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Setting the Stage
2. The Oldest Marine Mammals
3. Later- Diverging Whales
4. Aquatic Carnivorans
5. Crown Sirenians and Their Desmostylian Relatives
6. Aquatic Sloths and Recent Occupants of the Sea, Sea Otters and Polar Bears
7. Diversity Changes through Time
Classification of Fossil Marine Mammals
Glossary
References
Index

Author Bios
Annalisa Berta
Featured Contributor

Annalisa Berta

Annalisa Berta is professor emerita of biology at San Diego State University. She is the author of Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals and The Rise of Marine Mammals: 50 Million Years of Evolution.
James L. Sumich
Featured Contributor

James L. Sumich

James L. Sumich is emeritus professor of biology at Grossmont College. He is the coauthor of Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life. He is a coauthor of Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology.