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To Touch a Wild Dolphin: A Journey of Discovery with the Sea's Most Intelligent Creatures

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  133 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
To Touch a Wild Dolphin is the first intimate account of dolphin life in the wild. In 1982 Rachel Smolker traveled to Monkey Mia, a remote beach on the west coast of Australia where wild dolphins regularly interact with humans. Over the next fifteen years, Smolker and a team of fellow scientists were able to explore the lives of dolphins as they had never been explored bef ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 18th 2011 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2001)
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Amanda C. Blackburn
It's not very often that a nonfiction reads as smoothly as a fiction, but Smolker accomplishes this beautifully. I could read this over and over and never get tired of it. A great read for biologists and non-geeks alike.
Louise
Nov 21, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To Touch A Wild Dolphin is an attention grabbing adventure story about a scientist named Rachel Smolker who traveled to a place in western Australia called Monkey Mia to observe dolphins. However, these dolphins were not just any dolphins. These dolphins were wild, and she heard some had gotten so comfortable with humans that they could be fed by hand. So, Rachel went to see if the rumors about this place and the dolphins that inhabit it were true. Little did she know that trip to Monkey Mia wou ...more
T.H. Waters
Jan 01, 2012 T.H. Waters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really loved this book and was sad when it ended - Definitely like saying goodbye to a friend. "To Touch a Wild Dolphin" chronicles the first-ever intimate account of dolphin life in the wild. The author, Rachel Smolker, spent 15 years studying wild dolphins in western Australia, and this gem of a book distills her many experiences into an easy read that straps you into her boat and whisks you alongside the swimming herds of dolphins. This book is so well-written, especially considering that i ...more
Leanne
Sep 03, 2011 Leanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a dolphin, whale, and everything-in-the-ocean enthusiast, I loved most of this book. It was very informative and - at times - it was a really emotional and provocative read. There was one anecdote in particular about a blind woman interacting with a wild dolphin for the first time, and it was absolutely heart-breaking and I may have cried (a little).

I wish she had followed the dolphins a bit more closely. Readers are familiar with some names and personalities but the chapters follow language,
...more
Meredith
Sep 07, 2013 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was such an amazing read! Smolker presented the results of years of research in an informative and surprisingly refreshing way. Her story was so creative and interesting that even those who were not previously interested in dolphins can enjoy it. To be honest, before reading this book I myself liked dolphins but didn't know much about them. Now, I feel I can appreciate them for everything good and not-so-good about them. Anyone who is interested in dolphins, marine life, animals, or biology ...more
Tippy Jackson
Jun 03, 2010 Tippy Jackson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animalia
Kind of everywhere. There are a few random completely awesome tidbits, like the dolphins using lionfish as weapons (I'm stealing this for my blog.) Not scientific AT ALL. (What do you expect with a title like this though?) When she discusses conservation, she doesn't mention anything one can do to help (like purchasing only sustainable seafood), but I'm glad she brought it up. For 15 years worth of research, I definitely expected more. Mildly entertaining for animal-loving folk and an easy read ...more
Tatjana
This book is the personal experience of a biologist. It's not a new age spirituality kind of book (yay!). I enjoyed it. It wasn't exceptional, but I enjoyed it. The reading level is about high school, so it's accessible for most readers.
I checked it out from the library. I'm glad I did since it was such a quick read.
Enjoy!
Rose
Mar 20, 2012 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read, and one of the better of several books I've read recently on cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises, and whales). Rachel Smolker writes about studying dolphins as a graduate student, and what sets her apart is that she maintains enthusiasm while taking a much more scientific approach than the other popular authors in this area. Many of the "studies" out there have a definite romantic, not-so-scientific bent regarding dolphins. Smolker is cautious of assumptions about dolphin behavio ...more
Sarah
Aug 20, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
unfocused but enjoyable. not nearly as scientific as i would have expected from a woman who dedicated much of her professional life to the study of wild dolphins. her answer to everything is, "we could study dolphins for hundreds of years and never know the answer to that question!" so, not that satisfying for someone who likes answers. a nice thing to read on board a cruise with my new elderly friends.
Jennifer Nelson
Feb 08, 2016 Jennifer Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, 2016-books
I love dolphins and I especially love books about them created by skilled writers. Rachel Smolker has written a truly beautiful book filled with fascinating dolphin stories and vivid, evocative descriptions of Shark Bay, Australia. She has also helped me understand, respect, and love dolphins all the more.
Annabelle Peterson
A really good book following the lives of many dolphins in Monkey Mia, on the coast of Australia. This is an amazing book if you are in love with dolphins! It is a really good book and I highly recommend it.
Danielle
Jul 20, 2007 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys spending time with nature/animals.
Really great book about a woman and her science partner that spent years in Australia studying and "living" with the dolphins of Monkey Mia.
Tari
Jan 23, 2008 Tari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light on science but highly entertaining and super hard to put down if you are into dolphins!
↓→♫вяιтнαиу↓→
Aug 10, 2008 ↓→♫вяιтнαиу↓→ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: u cand learned how they communicate
Recommended to ↓→♫вяιтнαиу↓→ by: to the ones that dont know anything about them
Had to read this book to do a report on it.Its fun to learned about them.
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