This latest installment in the publisher’s “Animal Series” explores whale mythology and the animals’ unique interplay with humans over the centuries. Whales remain an enigma: the largest creatures on earth, they have inspired stories both terrifying and fascinating from Biblical times to today. This book tells us that a blue whale’s tongue weighs more than an elephant; that the complex songs whales sing have dialects unique to individual pods; and that at the height of the industrial whaling years some 60,000 animals were taken from the oceans each year.
The book traces the history of the interaction between whales and humans for the past 3,000 years. Written by a marine biologist, Whale is a lyrical portrait of the animals that have a special place in the hearts and minds of every sailor.
Reaktion Books; www.reaktionbooks.co.uk; 224 pages; $19.95.