Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Dolphins of Shark Bay

written by Pamela S. Turner
photographs by Scott Tuason

Ages: 11 years+ (approximately grades 5 and up)

Dolphins have always been considered one of the most intelligent life forms. From their evolved methods of hunting to their complex social networks, dolphins are as fascinating as they are smart. The Dolphins of Shark Bay provides an in-depth look at a specific pod of dolphins in Western Australia. Janet Mann, a behavioral ecologist, has been studying these dolphins and their way of life for more than 25 years. The research she and her team have conducted has led to astounding discoveries, one of the most amazing being that some dolphins use tools in order to hunt fish. These innovative dolphins hook a piece of sea sponge onto their noses, prod the ocean floor with the sponge that then forces bottom dwelling fish out into the open prey. This inventive animal behavior is just one of the features that make the dolphins of Shark Bay so unique. This book also explores the social nature of these animals and provides new insight on the mother and calf relationship. The impact of fishing and tourism industries are also highlighted. This book provides new perspective on the cheery and playful animal we think we know.

Although the text is very content-rich, it never feels like a textbook. Readers will get to know these dolphins and their oversized personalities through engaging and dynamic stories. The vibrant photographs provide additional visual context to an edifying narrative that will engage the reader. This title could be used with the Common Core Learning Standards for informational text for grades 5 and up. The author also provides resources for further reading about dolphins and encourages interested reader to look at published research papers.

Find The Dolphins of Shark Bay in the catalog.

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