Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

Publication Date: October 2017

Popular book written for ages 10 to adult with 300+ state-of-the-art photos and illustrations

ISBN-10: 1770859411

ISBN-13: 978-1770859418

Edition: 1st Edition, Hardcover. 400+ images, Index, Bibliog., 300 pages, 10 x 10 inches, £30 / $49.95

Publisher: Firefly (US, Canada, UK)

Prepare to smell whale breath and get rather wet. Witness courtship and mating practices and family relationships in the Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Award-winning author and Whale and Dolphin Conservation Research Fellow Erich Hoyt takes readers into the field for a whale watcher’s eye view of some 90 species of cetaceans that make their homes in the world ocean.

Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a participant in the current revolution in cetacean studies, Hoyt provides unique insights into the life histories of these compelling marine mammals. and the lifelong bonds among some family members. Meet the symphonic composers of the whale world—the humpback whales, with their complex 30-minute songs.

Hoyt’s latest book not only has insightful stories and the latest data on whales, dolphins and porpoises but provides an impassioned argument supporting the need for international protection of at-risk populations and their increasingly damaged habitat. This book offers readers a chance to participate in the debate about how best to make a future for these remarkable marine creatures.

“Whales, dolphins, and porpoises make up the class of social mammals known as cetaceans. Hoyt (research fellow, Whale and Dolphin Conservation; Creatures of the Deep) draws on more than 40 years of scientific interactions with these intelligent and fascinating creatures. Stunning images from principal photographer Brandon Cole and others, along with depictions by marine mammal illustrator Uko Gorter, enliven the text. Hoyt writes movingly on life cycles, the future for these animals, and how readers can get involved in protecting them. Verdict: For patrons of all ages.”

                                                                                                                            — Maggie Knapp, Library Journal, Nov. 2017

“Required reading...beautifully illustrated.” — Featured title in August 2017 Canadian Geographic Travel Newsletter

“This latest book by renowned cetacean researcher Erich Hoyt enters a crowded marketplace. Is there room for another? The answer is an emphatic yes, as this comprehensive treatment of the world’s cetaceans is detailed, informative, and well-illustrated — with a host of excellent photographs and accurate illustrations in the species accounts.”

                                                                                                                          — BBC Wildlife, Dec. 2017

Awarded Top Choice, number one on the list of the ten best encyclopedias based on scanned reviews (20 Nov. 2017).



Chapter 1: Humans and Whales

Our Shared History

Chapter 2: Research at Sea

Studying Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

Photo identification

Identifying Humpbacks

Transect studies

Acoustic research

Land-based studies

Science for Conservation

Diet Detection

Chapter 3: Basic Biology

How Cetaceans Function

How Baleen and Toothed Whales Differ


Marks of Diversity


How Big Is Big


Learning from Stranded Whales

Social Behavior

Courtship and Reproduction

Whale, Dolphin and Porpoise Life Histories

Whale Longevity

Songs, Calls and Clicks: Unraveling the Sonic World

The Value of Identifying Killer Whale Dialects

Chapter 4: Baleen Whales

Introducing the Baleen Whales: Mysticeti

Right and Bowhead Whales • Family Balaenidae

North Atlantic Right Whale

Conservation Status

North Pacific Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

Bowhead Whale

Pygmy Right Whale • Family Neobalanaenidae

Pygmy Right Whale

Rorquals • Family Balaenopteridae

Blue Whale

Fin Whale

Asymmetry in the Whale World

Sei Whale

Bryde’s Whale

Common Minke Whale

Humpback Whale

Gray Whale • Family Eschrichtiidae

Gray Whale

Size Comparison—Baleen Whales: Mysticeti

Chapter 5: Toothed Whales

Introducing the Toothed Whales: Odontoceti

Large-sized Toothed Whales

Sperm Whale • Family Physeteridae

Sperm Whale

Pygmy Sperm Whale and Dwarf Sperm Whales • Family Kogiidae

Pygmy Sperm Whale

Dwarf Sperm Whale

Beluga and Narwhal • Family Monodontidae



The Social Life of Baird’s Beaked Whales

The Whale That Swam into London

Beaked Whales • Family Ziphiidae

A New Member of the Family

Size Comparison—Toothed Whales: Odontoceti

Chapter 6: Dolphins and Porpoises

Medium-sized Toothed Whales

Oceanic Dolphins • Family Delphinidae

Irrawaddy dolphin

Discovering the Dolphins and Porpoises

Australian Snubfin Dolphin

Blackfish Dolphins

Killer Whale, or Orca

All-white Whales and Dolphins

Short-finned Pilot Whale

Long-finned Pilot Whale

Risso’s Dolphin

On the River with Guiana Dolphins

Rough-toothed Dolphin

Humpback Dolphins • Sousa species

Common Bottlenose Dolphin

Stenella Dolphins • Stenella species

Spinner Dolphin

Common Dolphins

Fraser’s Dolphin

“Lag” Dolphins • Lagenorhynchus species

Commerson’s Dolphin

Dusky Dolphin Society

Saving the New Zealand Dolphin

Hector’s Dolphin

Small-sized Toothed Whales

River Dolphins • Families Platanistidae, Iniidae, Lipotidae, Pontoporiidae

Amazon River Dolphin, or Boto

Losing the Baiji

Porpoises • Family Phocoenidae

Harbor porpoise


Size Comparison—Toothed Whales: Dolphins and Porpoises

Chapter 7: The Future for Whales

Still at the Edge of Extinction?

Cetacean Culture

Prey-sharing in Killer Whales

Getting Close to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

Are Whales Dangerous?

The Whale Trail

Essential whale-watching tips

Pollution: How We Can All Help

Noise as Pollution

Homes for Cetaceans: Protecting Their Habitat

The Story of Billie, or How to Set up a Marine

Protected Area or Sanctuary for Dolphins

Should Cetaceans Have Rights?

A Charter for Cetacean Rights

Appendix: The Cetaceans

Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

Baleen Whales

Right and Bowhead Whales

Pygmy Right Whale


Gray Whale

Toothed Whales

Sperm Whale

Pygmy and Dwarf Sperm Whales

Beluga and Narwhal

Beaked Whales

Oceanic Dolphins

River Dolphins


Getting Involved

Photo Credits

Sources and Resources


For signed copies or quantity discounts, click here, or go to erichhoytbooks.com. Books are also available on various independent and other book sites, including hive.co.uk http://bit.ly/2vyviTe and from independent book stores. Also available from Amazon:

US: http://amzn.to/2rnR0rh  

UK: http://bit.ly/EncyclopediaWhales

For review copies for online or print publications, email me here, and I can contact the PR person at the publisher.

© 2017 Erich Hoyt. All rights reserved.

Books by Erich Hoyt