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Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World's Largest Animal
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Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World's Largest Animal

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  12 reviews

The blue whale holds the title of largest creature that has ever lived, and it may also be the most mysterious. The biggest blue whales can outweigh every player in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League combined. Their mouths can gulp more than thirteen thousand gallons of seawater. A newborn can be over twenty feet long and gain nearly twenty tons in

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  73 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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A densely-packed, dizzyingly-paced account of all things pertaining to the blue whale. Bortolotti negelects nothing: geography, taxonomy, conservation, genetics and especially size are all packed into one brisk volume. It's not always enthralling, but Bortolotti is genuinely interested in and concerned for his subject. He ends with an unequivocal call for the abolishment of blue whale-hunting, much more radical than most mainstream books on this topic, which was an especial pleasure to see. The ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biology-zoology
We recently had the honour of spending a week on a dive boat with pioneer underwater filmmaker and shark diver Stan Waterman. He is a charming, gallant man who regaled us with tales and anecdotes from his 50+ year diving history. After returning from that trip I purchased this cope of Stan's memoirs in order to learn more about him, and as I read the book I couldn't help but hear it in his voice. Sea Salt is interesting and engaging and I very much enjoyed reading it. Recommended, especially for ...more
Yi-hsin Lin
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A clear, concise account of much of the research done up to now on the blue whale. Bortolotti discusses briefly the history of (blue) whaling, much of which I was surprised to learn occurred in the last century, which was awfully depressing to read. The rest of the book was more enjoyable, detailing the current research on the distribution of the species around the world and the feeding habits of the blue whale. Unfortunately, not much more than that is known about the species (or at least, it ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love reading scientific books such as this one, and let me just say, it was exceptionally well written. I had no problem understanding it and it kept me fully engaged the whole time I was reading it. I learned so much from it and hope to continue to learn even more about the blue whale as soon as more research is completed. Hopefully someday I can see for myself one of these magnificent creatures.
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Thoughtful and curious essays about the history of human's study of blues. Blue whales are pretty much the coolest animals ever, and this book helped me finally realize that. Bortolotti's tone matches the uncertainty and fascination we have with the largest animals ever, and while he is frank in acknowledging that we know very little about blue whales, what we do know is still fascinating.
Aug 14, 2009 marked it as to-read
Shelves: science
I learned three new things just in the intro chapter, so it's a promising start!

Great start, but got waylaid by a succession of books with limited loan periods from the library - will return to this one.
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An astounding read. Well-researched, highly-detailed, non-judgmental and still completely readable.

Bortolotti maintains that the "blue whale's greatest enemy may be human ignorance" - and with this book, he has truly presented a singular weapon against said enemy.
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fantastically interesting and colloquial account of the blue whale, exploring both its literal biology and its historical plight. I'm a fan of nonfiction that neither patronizes nor goes over the head of the reader, and this book does just that.
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, environment
A well-written introduction to not just the Blue Whale, but to whale studies and the whaling industry--- and a book that will certainly send me both to whale-watch (a long-held dream) and to explore both the natural history of whales and the history of whaling.
Malcolm Logscribe
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a good book! Includes both biology and history, lots to fascinate and lots to sadden. This book rules.

Do expect a lot of whaling horror, though. We've done some messed up things.
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting, not quite what I was looking for, mostly because I had just read a similar book which covered all types of whale. It was nicely written and brought together, though.
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