Spying on Whales by Nick Pyenson
The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures

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“Spying on Whales” is prime science writing, a distillation of a subject that is neither condescending nor exclusive. Lovers of science – especially biology – will adore it, but even absent those interests, a reader possessed of simple natural curiosity might well find themselves diving deep.
-The Maine Edge

Synopsis

A dive into the secret lives of whales, from their evolutionary past to today's cutting edge of science

Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection--yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea--and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive?

Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales. He takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert in Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future--all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth.
 

About Nick Pyenson

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Published June 26, 2018 by Viking. 336 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Spying on Whales
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 03 2018

What keeps readers going in this occasionally challenging work are Pyenson’s clear love of his subject, his thrill at making a scientific discovery, and his depiction of the world of scientists at work.

Read Full Review of Spying on Whales: The Past, P... | See more reviews from Kirkus

The Maine Edge

Good
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Jul 02 2018

“Spying on Whales” is prime science writing, a distillation of a subject that is neither condescending nor exclusive. Lovers of science – especially biology – will adore it, but even absent those interests, a reader possessed of simple natural curiosity might well find themselves diving deep.

Read Full Review of Spying on Whales: The Past, P...
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