Spying on Whales – By Nick Pyenson


Goodreads Synopsis: Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-like creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and roam entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection–yet we know hardly anything about them, and they only enter our awareness when they die, struck by a ship or stranded in the surf. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea? Why do they beach themselves? What do their lives tell us about our oceans, and evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive?

Nick Pyenson’s research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales. Nick’s rich storytelling takes us to the cool halls deep inside the Smithsonian’s priceless fossil collection, to the frigid fishing decks on Antarctic whaling stations, and to the blazing hot desert of Chile where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whalebone site on earth. Spying on Whales is science writing at its best: an author who is an incredible, passionate writer, at the forefront of his field, on a topic that invokes deep fascination. 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I really love reading books like this, ones were I get to learn all about animals and how they live and how they’ve evolved. So I was super excited to start this book when I found it on last year’s Goodreads Choice Awards.

If you don’t know much about whales there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy this book. I learned so much from reading this book. I learned about all sorts of ancient aquatic beasts that used to live in the sea, I learned about how scientist determine whale ages and much more.

The writing style honestly wasn’t my favorite. The author sounds really entitled at a couple of parts, and also a little rude. So there were times when I found myself a little annoyed with him.  Still I was able to read the whole book, so maybe it was just me and you could enjoy this book more.

So if you enjoy learning about animals then this book is for you! I gave it three stars on Goodreads. I don’t think I would read any else by this author, but it would depend on the topic he wrote about.

If you have any recommendations for other books about animals please let me know! 

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