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Sex in Cetaceans

Morphology, Behavior, and the Evolution of Sexual Strategies

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  • Open Access
  • © 2023

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  • Examines sex and sexual strategies in light of the need for conservation/management strategies

  • Includes innovative research tools such as the use of unmanned aerial vehicles

  • Rich illustrations of morphology from dissections and electronic imaging, and behavior in nature and aquaria

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Table of contents (24 chapters)


About this book

Sex in Cetaceans provides an up-to-date review of multi-faceted aspects related to mating and reproduction in toothed and baleen whales. This open access book begins with discussions of sexual selection and anatomical traits related to mating and diversity between the sexes. The functions of non-conceptive copulations are reviewed as are different research techniques applied to explore sex in cetaceans. Authors and editors build knowledge of female and male social, mating, and parental strategies and tactics for several specific toothed dolphin/porpoise/whale species and baleen whale species. It concludes with a discussion of potential conservation efforts and ways to help especially beleaguered species and populations the world over.

The volume is intended as a major primer of cetacean sex for undergraduate and graduate students, new and established researchers in the field, and the public wishing to learn more.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Galveston, USA

    Bernd Würsig

  • Department of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, USA

    Dara N. Orbach

About the editors

Bernd Würsig studies behavior and social strategies in marine mammals, with a specialty in toothed whale (odontocete) societies. He has published >200 peer review papers, book chapters, and books. He is perhaps best known for his books on Hawaiian spinner dolphins, marine mammals of the Gulf of Mexico, dusky dolphins, Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals (eds. 1-3, from 2000 to 2018), a Springer Nature book on ethology and behavioral ecology of odontocetes (2019), and a recent Springer Nature book (with Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara) on human influences on marine mammals in this strong Anthropocene Epoch (2022). He is Regents and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University Galveston. 

Dara N. Orbach explores evolutionary biology with a focus on the co-evolution of anatomy and behavior, reproductive morphology, sexual selection, and behavioral ecology. While mostly focused on marine mammals, she is a comparative biologist with research experience in other systems including birds, bats, and fish. She has published more than 35 peer review papers and book chapters, including a chapter on “Sexual Strategies: Male and Female Mating Tactics” for a 2019 Springer Nature book on odontocetes. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Sex in Cetaceans

  • Book Subtitle: Morphology, Behavior, and the Evolution of Sexual Strategies

  • Editors: Bernd Würsig, Dara N. Orbach

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-35650-6Published: 26 September 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-35653-7Published: 26 September 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-35651-3Published: 25 September 2023

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: IX, 619

  • Number of Illustrations: 11 b/w illustrations, 112 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Ecology, Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Science, Zoology, Evolutionary Biology

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