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The Dolphins of Shark Bay (Scientists in the Field Series) Hardcover – November 5, 2013
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The Shark Bay Dolphin Project, under the direction of biologist Janet Mann, is the subject of this latest book in the acclaimed Scientists in the Field series. Dolphins’ uncommonly developed intelligence is undisputed fact, but Mann’s field research is unique in that most other observations occur in captivity. Studying dolphins in their natural habitat off the coast of western Australia, Mann’s team has witnessed them using tools, socializing their young, developing hunting strategies, and forming alliances. Her work goes far beyond proving the fact that dolphins are smart; she seeks to discover the reasons for the development of their higher brain functions. Mann not only provides excellent examples of scientific thinking through the formulation and testing of hypotheses, she also serves as an authentic and engaging role model for girls considering careers in science. Using the team’s intimate knowledge of the wild cetaceans, Turner treats the dolphins as lively characters unto themselves in this affecting and vividly photographed work of nonfiction. Grades 5-8. --Erin Anderson
—Kirkus, starred review
"Mann not only provides excellent examples of scientific thinking through the formulation and testing of hypotheses, she also serves as an authentic and engaging role model for girls considering careers in science. . . [An] affecting and vividly photographed work of nonfiction."
"Readers come away with an amazing, if sometimes blurred vision of a culture different from their own . . . A challenging, attractive eye-opener."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"There's no shortage of fascinating science in the breezy and engaging narrative. . . While being deliberately anti-mythical about dolphins, the book conveys the wonder of learning more about the intricacy of another species, and readers will be won over by both the dolphins and the sceince."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"The detailed descriptions of the day-to-day activities of the dolphins—all of whom are given names and have distinct personalities—provide a window into the practice of animal behavior studies."
—The Horn Book Magazine
Top customer reviews
The topics covered are compelling: whether dolphins have culture, innovative ways they find food, relations between males and females, parents and kids, and how dolphins group themselves. The end touches upon dolphins in captivity and the ethical questions raised in a brief, non-judgmental, thought-provoking fashion. Splendid photos too, as usual. Highly recommended.
Older kids that love dolphins, or kids who do not know much about dolphins would like this book a lot. I loved the way the author explained everything clearly. I really liked the cuteness of the illustrations and the photos. Some of the photos were very cute, and some were just pretty.
Murphy M. (7yo)
(Unpaid) Reviewer for the San Francisco Book Review
A note from Murphy's mom: My daughter has been in love with dolphins since she was 4yo and has read just about everything related to dolphins that she can get her hands on. This is one of the few books that had tons of information, beautiful photos, and was written clearly enough for a 7yo to understand, yet it wasn't 'dumbed down'. It's a great book. My only regret is that we can't afford to visit Monkey Mia ourselves. This book is the next best thing!