Genre: Adult Science Nonfiction
Year Release: 2020
Source: Library Audiobook
Listened to the audiobook
Content warning: Decomposition, animal death, climate change, animal cruelty
Whales will always be my favorite thing. So large, so unaware of their size. Such a strange route to evolution, where the progenitor whale went back into the sea, rather than staying in the ocean depths.
The angle this book takes isn’t one that’s strictly about whales. It’s about these gentle giants in concert with both the human world and the natural world. How much we can learn about climate change can also be elucidated from examining their biology. Captivating, anecdotal, and quite funny in places at the absurdity of man, I learn a little bit more with each new whale book I read.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Nonfiction
Year Release: 2018
Source: My own physical copy
|Whales are my favorite animal. Majesty, ignorant of their vast majesty, a mammal that returned to the sea during their evolution, they are simply awe-inspiring. After reading the litany of incorrect whales fact that is Moby Dick last year, the time had finally come to learn something new.
Pyenson really draws into his own experiences as a paleontologist to contextualize discoveries about whales and presenting facts about their life cycles. What I loved most about the way information is presented is that it ties together into an overview of the past, present, and future, using each segment to support the others. In addition, Pyenson refrains from over-relying on the novelty of every new discovery. There is so much left to learn about them, and the vastness of the oceans doesn’t help.
A great overview about whales, their lives, and the ways humans made an impact on their ecosystems.
The other weekend I had an existential crisis about how large whales are. I mean, not many people have seen one up close unless you’ve been to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Naturally, I fell into a rabbit hole of whale facts that I will shamelessly share now.