Whales and Dolphins of the European Atlantic

Published by WILDGuides

A completely revised second edition of this best-selling title, which provides is a comprehensive guide to the identification of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) in the European Atlantic. Until very recently, most researchers and whale-watchers were unaware of the great variety of cetaceans that can be seen so close to the shores of western Europe. Indeed, it is only during the last decade, when detailed cetacean surveys have been carried out in earnest, that we have discovered how important this area is for cetacean biodiversity.

This field guide describes all of the 31 species of whale, dolphin and porpoise that have occurred in the European Atlantic. Knowledge of the identification of cetaceans at sea is developing rapidly and this book aims to provide an easy-to-use, detailed guide for both the ocean-going and land-based whale-watcher. For every species there is a description of the key identification features, notes on how to separate it from similar species, a brief natural history, and a map showing its known distribution and likelihood of occurrence. Facing each species account is a colour plate which has been created, using the latest digital image technology, from several separate surface photographs.

These photographs have been carefully selected to illustrate the key identification features. Whilst photographs of cetaceans at sea usually only reveal a part of the animal, be it the back, the dorsal fin, a raised tail or merely a blow, such images are considered to be the most informative way of aiding identification, since they show the animal from the whale-watcher's perspective.

Charts are included showing the best times of year to observe each species.