things you didn't know about whales

A trip to the MBL-ASU History of Biology seminar on visualization in biology this past week was a great opportunity to browse through the Marine Biological Lab's well-stocked library. I like to walk through the stacks and just pick up books randomly and see what is inside. It is something akin to turning logs and stones over was you walk through the woods in hopes of a salamander, some interesting fungus, or a giant centipede - and then of course putting them back as you found them. 

If you did this randomly you would have a one in perhaps a one million chance of coming this lovely edition titled Whales by EJ Slijper (English translation 1962). Here are some visual and factual highlights:

How fin whale body coloration pattern develops in utero

 Breakdancing, a la cetacean.

 The bodily challenges on being an air-breathing aquatic animal - solved!

 "Two bottelnose dolphins supporting a wounded congener"

...and how to sex a Fin Whale (should the opportunity come about)

This just scratches the surface of the abundance that this book - and so many of the books there - offer.