By Richard C. Connor, Dawn M. Peterson
An obtainable and lavishly illustrated exploration of the realm of whales and dolphins, according to the most recent learn, follows the seventy-five species of those creatures from start via all elements in their attention-grabbing lives. 10,000 first printing
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Additional resources for The Lives of Whales and Dolphins: From the American Museum of Natural History
P a t c h e s o f c o l o r o r p i g m e n t a t i o n may a c t u a l l y b e m o v e m e n t a n d o r i e n t a t i o n signals. Many c e t a c e a n species have contrasting color around the pectoral flipper. T h e sudden appearance of such a color may be an indication that the animal is c h a n g i n g direction and could serve to c o o r d i n a t e H o w W H A L E S A N D D O L P H I N S PERCEIVE THEIR WORLD the m o v e m e n t of individuals in a school. Such coordination may be critical for individuals that are trying to escape predators.
Scientists o n c e believed that they c o u l d n o t . T h e brain of an adult toothed whale (odontocete) does n o t have an o l f a c t o r y b u l b a n d those in t h e b a l e e n whales (mysticetes) are greatly r e d u c e d . Researchers looking for taste b u d s in various o d o n t o c e t e s r e p o r t e d mixed results, with H o w W H A L E S A N D D O L P H I N S PERCEIVE THEIR W O R L D some studies on the same species contradicting each other. Studies have shown, however, that dolphins have some ability t o taste.
Prey is n o t always plentiful n o r easy to catch. Moreover, cetaceans must c o m p e t e for food. W h e n food is a b u n d a n t , g r o u p size may reflect that; schools of c o m m o n dolphins in the Black Sea contain as many as three thousand individuals when food is plentiful. Although many species have a p r e f e r r e d food, most cetaceans cannot afford to rely on o n e or a few species of prey. IVES O F W H A L E S A N D D O L P H I N S A gray whale dines on fare found on the ocean's floor.