WHALES: Their Life in the Sea by Faith McNulty

WHALES: Their Life in the Sea

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McNulty, whose New Yorker piece became last year's Great Whales, now streamlines her material for younger readers and manages to give the enviable impression that she is simply stepping aside as author to let a fascinating creature speak for itself. Although the evolutionary links are still missing, toothed and baleen whales seem to have descended from two different kinds of land animals who perhaps returned to the water millions of years apart. Along with their ancestry, as evidenced in fetal development, McNulty touches on whales' anatomy and physiology--their six-foot hearts and many chambered stomachs, their ability to store oxygen, retain body heat and produce 130 gallons of milk a day--and observes their social behavior as well in her survey of different species (some now nearly extinct) from the giant blue whale weighing well over 100 tons to the small river dwelling species, the Ganges' susu and the boutu of the Amazon. Trim and engaging, with quietly impressive double page drawings.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1975
Page count: 88pp
Publisher: Harper & Row