Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast: Baja, by Sarah G. Allen, Joe Mortenson, Sophie Webb

By Sarah G. Allen, Joe Mortenson, Sophie Webb

From grey whales giving start within the lagoons of Baja California to sea otters nestled in kelp beds off California to killer whales dwelling round Vancouver Island—this striking stretch of the Pacific Coast boasts the most ample populations of sea mammals on the earth. this useful interpretive box consultant describes the forty five whales, dolphins, seals, and otters which are resident in, migrate via, or forage from Baja in Mexico to British Columbia in Canada. The guide’s wealthy species debts offer information on id, average background, distribution, and conservation. additionally they inform the place and the way those interesting animals can most sensible be seen. Introductory chapters supply basic details at the ecology, evolution, and taxonomy of marine mammals; at the Pacific Coast’s specific setting; and at the dating among marine mammals and people from local cultures to this day. that includes many colour illustrations, images, drawings, and maps, this up to date advisor illuminates a desirable team of animals and divulges a lot approximately their mysterious lives within the ocean.

Illustrated by way of Sophie Webb

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Additional info for Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast: Baja, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (California Natural History Guides, Volume 100)

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Possible purposes of the breach may be herding or stunning prey, shedding ectoparasites, and communicating. In any case, breaching offers human observers a great opportunity to identify a species (fig. 13). Predators and parasites influence the survival strategies of marine mammals just as much as their needs to eat and reproduce do. Great White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and Seven-gill Sharks (Notorhynchus cepedianus) are the most common fish predators in the California Current, but Killer Whales are the most formidable hunters, attacking enormous Blue Whales and even Great White Sharks (figs.

Marine food web and range of preferred prey sizes: Killer Whales, the apex predators, feed on other mammals; seals feed on fish; some baleen whales feed on the “fleas” of the sea, copepods (redrawn from Berta et al. 2006). 32 INTRODUCTION the marine food web, holds a staggering biomass of creatures harvested by fish, marine mammals, and humans (fig. 22). Most plants in the oceans are single-celled diatoms, called the “grass of the sea,” or dinoflagellates. The zooplankton, minute marine animals, are composed of small crustaceans, fish larvae, and eggs.

Length of Gestation and Parental Care between Marine Mammals Humpback Whale Gray Whale Sperm Whale Bottlenose dolphin Harbor Porpoise Steller Sea Lion Northern Fur Seal Harbor Seal Elephant seal Sea Otter Age of sexual maturity (years) Gestation* (months) Lactation (weeks) Birthing interval (years) 5–7 9 9 12 3–6 4–5 3–7 2–5 4 4 11 11–13 15–17 12 9–11 11 12 10 11 6–7 40–44 28–32 100 76 32 47 18 4 4 20–30 2 1–2 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 Parental care 1–2 years 6–8 months 5–7 years 7–11 years 8–16 months 1–2 years 4 months 4 weeks 4 weeks 1 year Adapted from Berta and Sumich 1999.

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