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Orca: The Whale Called Killer Paperback – May 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Camden House; Revised edition (May 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0920656250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0920656259
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An intensely personal account....Scientific, political, and historical details are woven into a highly readable narrative...thorough appendixes, lengthy bibliography. Recommended. (Library Journal)

Superb ... A fine story of adventure ... One of the best nature books of the year. (Publishers Weekly)

There is nothing wildlife needs more urgently than truth, for once people understand, people will act with preserved habitat, protective legislation, the tools of conservation. Erich Hoyt tells the truth about the orca in his fascinating book Orca: The Whale Called Killer. It is in itself a conservation tool. Required reading. (Roger Caras ABC-TV News)

A fine record of observations accumulated by patience and cautious persistence...presented somewhat in diary form of the summers with the whales, and interwoven with facts....The result is a well-compounded blend of close-up nature observation, scientific knowledge, and history. Bonuses are interesting asides on the scenery and wildlife, the lumbering, salmon fishing, and the local flavor of northern Vancouver Island. Hoyt's theme is preserve killer whales in their natural environment. He makes a good argument for it. (Elizabeth N. Shor, Scripps Institute of Oceanograp San Diego Union Tribune)

An enchanting story of adventure and discovery, one told with style, insight, charm and thoroughness. (Akron Beacon Journal)

I have never read a better book on whales, partly because Hoyt writes so well ... The developing relationship between the whale-watchers and these magnificent mammals makes absorbing reading ... The book contains valuable scientific and historical appendixes and an excellent index ... Don't miss it! (Philadelphia Inquirer)

An engaging picture of the life of killer whales ... Hoyt's style is easygoing and comfortable, and as well organized as it is informative. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

A well-written, balanced account ... interspersed in the story are excellent summaries of our current knowledge about orca attacks, feeding behavior and hearing acuity. Aside from maps and photos, 8 well-referenced appendixes and a 14-page bibliography make it an important reference source for scientists. (Edward Mitchell, Arctic Biological Station [Canada Canadian Geographic)

Monumental achievement...the best whale book in years. (Ronn Patterson Oceans)

About the Author

Erich Hoyt has spent much of his life on, beneath or near the sea, working with whales and dolphins and marine conservation. The acclaimed author of Creatures of the Deep, Meeting the Whales, Riding With the Dolphins, The Earth Dwellers and Insect Lives, Hoyt lives in Scotland.


More About the Author

I am an author of books on wildlife and science for adults and kids; I like to tell a story that hasn't been told using my own style of narrative nonfiction. I am also a researcher and lecturer (working in Japan, Russia and many other countries). I like exploring new frontiers, trying new things...I have been very fortunate to work with various dolphin and whale species in many countries, as well as ants in the tropical rain forest.

My first book, Orca: The Whale Called Killer, tells the story of seven summers I spent living among three big "families" or pods of killer whales (orcas) off northern Vancouver Island, Canada.

My newest book is Weird Sea Creatures (March 2013) for age 12 to adult featuring state-of-the-art photographs of the latest amazing deep sea animals, many of them only discovered in the past couple years and some still un-named.

My previous books include: Seasons of the Whale, recently published in an updated ebook edition. In this book I follow several known humpback, right and blue whales through a momentous year in their lives -- a true story of the year that the North Atlantic Ocean began to "talk back" to those who cared about it as well as to those who didn't.

In The Earth Dwellers, I get down to a few centimeters off the ground and trace several years in the lives of a colony of leafcutter ants and the scientists who study them in Costa Rica. In alternative chapters, I weave the story of the ants and the story of the scientists -- two well known entomologists (insect scientists), EO Wilson from Harvard and Bill Brown from Cornell who trade arguments, jokes and banter in their pursuit of the big find.

I loved researching and writing Creatures of the Deep, with its literary, historical, mythical and actual journeys to the bottom of the sea as well as along the world's longest mountain range (underwater) and starting from the tiniest organisms up the long food chain to the top predators. It's a story of a dark, high pressure, unexplored world and bizarre, little known creatures that communicate by touch, flashing lights and who knows what else.

These books are for adults but variously enjoyed by young adults and older kids. I have also written four other books just for kids.

As a working scientist and conservationist, I also write scientific papers, reports and books such as Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. A world handbook for cetacean habitat conservation and planning (Taylor & Francis, London & New York, 2011). I am Senior Research Fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission - Cetacean Specialist Group and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. I also help direct the Far East Russia Orca Project, a long-term project with Russian scientists to understand the killer whales in the vast Russian waters.

I enjoy giving talks and illustrated presentations. In the past few years, I have been invited to speak in the UK, France, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, the US, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Monaco, Argentina and Chile. I especially enjoyed working in Japan giving simulated whale watch presentations at the 2005 World Expo (theme: nature's wonders) and at the World Whale Watching Conference and the Symposium: New Tales about Whales in Science, Society & Art, at the UN University, Tokyo, Dec 2010. My other talks are about "my life with orcas", creating marine reserves, "from ants to whales", and the future of marine conservation, "creatures of the deep", and the best dolphin and whale watching around the world. I also give talks on writing popular science with a story: narrative nonfiction, and on preparing book proposals that sell.

Please see my web sites www.erichhoyt.com and www.cetaceanhabitat.org.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I highly reccommend this book.
"barkatie"
Very happy with the " New Edition " also.
Alydar
Loved this book and Mr. Hoyt's writing style.
Barb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best book on orca that is out there so far. Informative, enthralling and captivating. If you are not already an orca lover you will be after this...and you will want more...for Erich and friends to report the latest. I have read it three times...and continue to go back and re-read and highlight sections. This book also has appendix containing interesting info on captive whales all over the world. I just wish Hoyt would update soon!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By orcadeb on September 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is my absolute favorite book on orcas. I have read it three times. I bought it years ago at the Vancouver Aquarium while visiting the whales in the area and never tire of re-reading it. One of the the things I like are the appendices which list data on the whales. I wish Erich Hoyt would write a second volume or update it again! If you love orcas you will love this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "barkatie" on August 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am an avid orca lover and this book was amazing. I was astonished by some of the stories I read. If you like orcas, you will love this book. It is very informational and quite entertaining. I highly reccommend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
An aewsome book. Reads really well and is full of useful information. A must for all Orca enthusiasts.
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By K. Reed on August 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being that this book was updated I wish Erich Hoyt had used the official pod numbers and/or names of the orca he spent a few summers with. Although the book was initially written when Michael Bigg was working on identification via dorsal fins and saddle patches by now it would be nice to know if the twins he is so fond of are Nimpkish and Blackney or someone else. He names a few like Stubbs, Nicola, Sturdy, and Top Notch. Otherwise it's an enjoyable read about summers spent trying to film wild orca, mostly members of the Northern Resident A pod, earn their trust, and trying to understand who they are. It was still early in our understanding of orca, trying to protect their habitats, and making discoveries out uniquely Northern Resident things such as the rubbing beach.

Fans of Orky and Corky from Marineland of the Pacific will find touching tidbits about his role in caring for their calves. I don't agree with the observation that captivity makes an orca crazy or that after awhile they don't like to be touched or ridden. Until the 2010 ban most of SeaWorld's orca did water works and some like the first Baby Shamu Kalina enjoyed human touch.

The tables at the end are helpful, especially with tracing the captures of wild orca and where they went and the captive born up until publication but there again some names seem to be missing. There are several Baby Shamus listed by number so you need to reference birth dates and places to figure who is Orkid, Katerina*, Kayla and so on.
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By Rawrr on May 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been obsessed with killer whales for some time now and I thought reading this book would expand my knowledge on these majestic animals and it definitely did. A must read if you love and adore these animals !
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By Vanessa Morrell on May 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this story. Would have liked to see more pics. Would love to be there for the part 2 following these beautiful creatures. Long live #blackfish
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In his study. Orca, the Whale Called Killer, Erich Hoyt provides a first class introduction to this charming but, until recently, little known, beautiful mammal. Through the entries of the journal of his expedition on the coast of Vancouver Island in the 1970s, he offers a detailed account of his first meeting with orcas, his experiments in recording their language, his checking their complex system of echolocation,and his being appalled by the socially developed behavior and the familiar habits of these stunning animals. It is a rare document whose flavor does not fade with the years. I have read many contemporary books on the subject, and find Hoyt's still charming, scientifically sound and intriguing as a work of fiction. For those who are interested in the life of animals and the beauty of nature this book is a must.
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