Having been raised on the Oregon coast, I’ve seen a good number of whales over the years; however each and every one has been of the species which tend to venture into viewing distance from the shore; Gray Whales being far and away the most frequent of my sightings. Of the beaked whales, those little-known species only found in deep waters and remote locations, despite having gone to sea in ships, I have seen nary a one.

Therefore the recent publication of Richard Ellis’ and James G. Mead’s Beaked Whales; A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Conservation by Johns Hopkins University Press came as very welcome news indeed. Not only does it provide a concise overview of beaked whales as a group, it presents clear and easy-to-understand information – in some cases quite possibly even everything known – about each species in this elusive group of marine mammals.