Dolphin Days

Dolphin Days

by Kenneth S. Norris, Jenny Wardrip
     
 

Self-described as half-teacher, half-naturalist, Dr. Kenneth S. Norris is one of the world’s foremost authorities on whales and dolphins, those most appealing creatures with whom we share the planet. Focusing on the spinner dolphins off Hawaii, Norris carries us through his earliest contacts with these graceful animals (including work with Gregory Bateson),

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Overview

Self-described as half-teacher, half-naturalist, Dr. Kenneth S. Norris is one of the world’s foremost authorities on whales and dolphins, those most appealing creatures with whom we share the planet. Focusing on the spinner dolphins off Hawaii, Norris carries us through his earliest contacts with these graceful animals (including work with Gregory Bateson), his attempts with teams of students to learn about their complex lives in the sea, and finally to the tragic dolphin kill in the yellowfin tuna industry.
Dr. Norris tells us how the dolphins swim, find food, breathe in rough weather, and how they protect themselves in an underwater world totally without places to hide. Norris shows us how his scientific ideas evolve, takes us on a hair-raising trip aboard a tuna vessel where he and his colleagues dive in the net to search for solutions to the kill, and finally suggests how the “magic envelope,” the dolphins’ group protection system, might be the key to releasing them unharmed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Norris, emeritus professor at UC-Santa Cruz, has studied spinner dolphins ( Stenella longisostris ) for 30 years and played a vital role in the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972. In this fine portrait of scientific field work Norris relates details of the spinners' cycle of behavior against the story of dolphin slaughter by tuna fisheries and efforts to save the threatened species. The author and students observed the animals from air, land and sea, discovering, for example, that dolphins make intense claps of sound to catch prey, that they mimic schools of fish for protection. While the dolphin kill dropped tenfold under MMPA regulations, the majority of U.S. ships moved to foreign registration. After sailing on a large tuna boat, Norris noted that speedboats, nets and the mother vessel create overwhelming fear among the dolphins and disrupt their social organization. He takes a cynical view of the ``dolphin-safe'' tuna industry. Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Norris has been a notable source of nontechnical writing on the dolphins for many years. Here he presents an autobiographical account of his work on spinner dolphins. The best first-person tales written by scientists vividly capture the research process, the trials and tribulations that lead to scientific knowledge. Norris recounts the beginnings of his dolphin research station in Hawaii, discusses his work in the 1970s on dolphin kills related to tuna fishing, and tells stories of his and his coworkers' experiments. But these pieces of his story never coalesce into an engaging narrative. In addition, the text and the line drawings do not adequately depict some of the more complex concepts, such as how tuna fishing traps dolphins or how the dolphin spins. Norris's Dolphin Societies ( LJ 6/15/91), coedited with Karen Pryor, is a better purchase.-- Susan Klimley, Columbia Univ. Libs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393332377
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/1991
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.76(d)

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