1st Edition

Physiology of Marine Mammals Adaptations to the Ocean

Edited By Michael Castellini, Jo-Ann Mellish Copyright 2024
    368 Pages 104 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    368 Pages 104 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Suppose you were designing a marine mammal. What would they need to live in the ocean? How would you keep them warm? What design features would allow them to dive for very long periods to extreme depths? Do they need water to drink? How would they minimize the cost of swimming, and how would they find their prey in the deep and dark?

    These questions and more are examined in detail throughout Marine Mammal Physiology, which explores how marine mammals live in the sea from a physiological point of view. This undergraduate textbook considers the essential aspects of what makes a marine mammal different from terrestrial mammals, beyond just their environment. It focuses on the physiological and biochemical traits that have allowed this group of mammals to effectively exploit the marine environment that is so hostile to humans.

    The content of this book is organised around common student questions, taking the undergraduate's point of view as the starting point. Each chapter provides a set of PowerPoint slides for instructors to use in teaching and students to use as study guides. New "Study Questions" and "Critical Thinking Points" conclude each chapter, which are each motivated by a "Driving Question" such as "How do mammals stay warm in a cold ocean?" or "How do mammals survive the crushing pressures of the deep sea?" Full-colour images and comprehensive, accessible content make this the definitive textbook for marine mammal physiology.

    Table of Contents

    About the Editors



    Chapter 1 Hydrodynamics

    Frank E. Fish, Jean Potvin, and Jeremy A. Goldbogen

    Chapter 2 Energy for Exercise: The cost of motion in marine mammals

    Shawn R. Noren, Jennifer L. Maresh and Terrie M. Williams

    Chapter 3 Oxygen Stores and Diving

    Cassondra L. Williams and Paul J. Ponganis

    Chapter 4 Under Pressure

    Sascha Hooker, Chris McKnight, and Andreas Fahlman

    Chapter 5 Thermoregulation

    Michael Castellini and Jo-Ann Mellish

    Chapter 6 Acoustics

    Dorian S. Houser and Jason Mulsow

    Chapter 7 Vision and Touch

    Kenneth Sørensen and Frederike Diana Hanke

    Chapter 8 Hydration

    Miwa Suzuki and Rudy M. Ortiz

    Chapter 9 Nutrition

    David Rosen and Lisa Hoopes

    Chapter 10 Feeding Mechanisms

    Christopher D. Marshall and Jeremy A. Goldbogen

    Chapter 11 Fasting

    Allyson Hindle and David Rosen

    Chapter 12 Postdelivery

    Daniel E. Crocker and Birgitte I. McDonald

    Chapter 13 Health and Disease

    Claire A. Simeone and Shawn P. Johnson

    Chapter 14 Ecotoxicology

    John Harley, Judith M. Castellini and Todd O’Hara

    Chapter 15 Sharing Earth’s Oceans

    Michael Castellini

    Chapter 16 More questions and mysteries

    Michael Castellini


    Michael Castellini earned his PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and was a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) from 1989-2021. Now an Emeritus Professor, he was the founding Science Director for the Alaska SeaLife Center, the Director of the Institute of Marine Science at UAF, Dean for the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Dean for the UAF Graduate School, senior faculty in the Center for Arctic Policy Studies and director of the Center for Global change. Dr. Castellini’s research focuses on how marine mammals have live in the sea, including their biochemical, physiological and behavioral adaptation for deep and long-duration diving, extended fasting, exercise physiology, hydrodynamics, and sleeping patterns. In Alaska, his work has extended into issues of population health, contaminant chemistry, protein metabolism and digestive physiology. Dr Castellini’s graduate students have worked from Alaska to Antarctica on these issues. He has written more than 100 scientific papers and chapters, and was involved in local, state, and national committees dealing with policy issues related to marine mammals, ecosystem management and polar concerns. He continues to provide guest lectures and assistance on local and national issues related to marine mammal biology.

    Jo-Ann Mellish, PhD, earned her PhD from Dalhousie University in Canada and was jointly-appointed research faculty at UAF and scientist at the Alaska SeaLife Center from 2001-2016. She now facilitates funding opportunities for other scientists in her role of Program Manager and Chief Grants and Operations Officer at the North Pacific Research Board. In a similar path to Mike, her dean for many years, her field studies on marine mammal energetics, thermoregulation, body condition, predation and survival have allowed her to adventure from pole to pole. In Alaska, she focused on innovative approaches to studying physiology, survival and predation in endangered species, working to raise the bar on thoughtful assessments of the research procedures themselves. In Antarctica, she worked with a highly collaborative team of researchers that melded physiology, ecology and modeling to understand the potential impacts of climate change in highly adapted cold environment species. Her work has resulted in more than 40 scientific papers.