Melville’s Muse

Click the image above to go to the publisher’s website (which also sells the book directly).  If your only knowledge of the title creature comes from a high school literature class, the blurb on the book’s promotional page might make you think this book belonged in the syllabus of the last biology course you took:

Ranging far and wide, Ellis covers the sperm whale’s evolution, ecology, biology, anatomy, behavior, social organization, intelligence, communications, migrations, diet, and breeding. He also devotes considerable space to the whale’s hunting prowess, including its clashes with the giant squid, and to the history of the whaling industry that decimated its numbers during the last two centuries.

According to the review provided in the Times Literary Supplement, the book deserves more attention than that blurb would imply.

Richard Shelton’s review highlights an evolutionary explanation in the book for the fact that the

cetaceans (whales and dolphins) together with the sirenians (sea cows and manatees) are the sea mammals best-adapted to the seas of today, but it is the cetaceans that have most engaged the attention of mankind as both prey and fellow sentient being.

That explanation alone, for the novice nature lover, intrigues.

2 thoughts on “Melville’s Muse

  1. Pingback: High Time « Raxa Collective

  2. Pingback: Giants Known And Unknown | Raxa Collective

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