Best Books
Home Up Trainer T-Shirts Career Book Best Books Best Videos Best Posters Dolphin Jewelry


Best Books on Marine Mammals & Training

We are often asked what books we buy for our own libraries and what we would recommend to students and others folks interested in marine mammals.  As you probably know, there are a lot of books written on this very popular subject.  Unfortunately some are not really very good.  Many contain old or inaccurate information. Some are just based upon pure fantasy and speculation. 

The books listed below are just a few of our personal favorites.  All of them are accurate, thoroughly researched and well written.  We will be adding more so check back once in a while.

For more information on any of these books just click on cover photo or underlined title:

"Starting Your Career as a Marine Mammal Trainer"

Revised and updated 2nd Edition by Terry S. Samansky, a marine mammal professional with over 20 years of experience.  This one-of-a-kind career guide contains over 140 pages of insightful information and inside tips which should prove invaluable to anyone interested in this profession.  Emphasis is placed on answering the questions most often asked by students (and others) who want to know what it's really like to be a marine mammal trainer and how someone gets started in such a career.  

In addition, this book contains a valuable Resource Directory with numerous addresses, phone and fax numbers, email and website addresses for marine mammal display facilities, rehabilitation centers, professional associations, government agencies, colleges and universities.  Published by 




All of the following books are available through©.If you click on the book covers or underlined titles below it will take you to that particular book on the© website.  There you can see full descriptions, prices and, in some cases, reviews from other readers.  If you like the book you can buy it there as well.  In checking around,© seems to have the best combination of low price, customer service and selection for these specialized books. In some cases their prices were well below any others we had found in book stores or on the internet. 

If you do decide to purchase one these books, or any item from©, please always link to them directly from this page.  A small percentage of your purchase will come back to us to help pay our web fees and keep us on the net. Thank you for your support. 

Click on book cover photo or underlined title:

The Bottlenose Dolphin : Biology and...

cover "The Bottlenose Dolphin: Biology and Conservation". Comprehensive enough for professionals and educators, but written in a style that everyone can enjoy and learn from. For teens through adult. Authored by well known marine mammal experts and scientists John E. Reynolds, Randall S. Wells and Samantha D. Eide, this new book replaces many of the common myths associated with these fascinating animals with modern scientific facts.  Here is some of what© says about it...."The Bottlenose Dolphin presents for the first time a comprehensive, colorfully illustrated, and concise overview of a species that has fascinated humans for at least 3,000 years. After reviewing historical myths and legends of the dolphin back to the ancient Greeks and discussing current human attitudes and interactions, the author replaces myths with facts--up-to-date scientific assessment of dolphin evolution, behavior, ecology, morphology, reproduction, and genetics--while also tackling the difficult issues of dolphin conservation and management."© is offering this very important book at a great price.


Animal Training : Successful Animal...

cover "Animal Training: Successful Animal Management Through Positive Reinforcement". This book has become one of the definitive guides to marine mammal training.  Written by Ken Ramirez, Director of Training and Husbandry at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, it is a "must have" for any professional animal trainer or anyone who wants to really understand the art and science of animal training. This book is required reading at many marine mammal facilities around the world. 


Don't Shoot the Dog : The New Art of...

cover "Don't Shoot The Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training". A great introduction to training and behavior. For everyone, teens through adult. The first book we want to recommend is Karen Pryor's, "Don't Shoot The Dog". This book is a very enlightening, entertaining and easy to understand introduction to training, positive reinforcement and operant conditioning. Karen uses a lot of everyday examples to illustrate her points, as well as many references to her years of work with dolphins and other marine mammals at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.  Don't Shoot the Dog is an accurate and up to date classic (this is the latest edition, revised and updated in 1999).  Even though it is written for everyone, it is required reading for many professional marine mammal trainers around the world. 


Dolphin Babies : Making a Splash

cover "Dolphin Babies: Making a Splash". A great book for kids, written by professional educators and marine mammal specialists with many years of experience with dolphins and kids. Ages 9-12.  A smart and highly informative children's book with many beautiful photos. Even though it is written for young people the material is thoroughly researched and highly accurate.  


The Pinnipeds : Seals, Sea Lions, and...

cover "Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses". One of the best general reference books available on seals, sea lions and walruses today.  For everyone, teens through adult. Pinnipeds don't get nearly the amount of attention and press that dolphins and other cetaceans do, but they are certainly fascinating animals in every respect.  This book covers the subject very well, has great photos and illustrations and is very affordable. 


Dolphin Societies : Discoveries and...       

cover "Dolphin Societies: Discoveries and Puzzles". Entertaining and informative reading. A very valuable reference source on cetacean behavior and research.  For everyone, teens through adult. This is another excellent book by Karen Pryor, along Dr. Ken Norris, two of the truly great pioneers in the field of marine mammal care, training, research and education.  Dolphin Societies is written by people who really know and understand cetaceans.  Unlike some books that tend to obscure the true nature of dolphins with bias, fantasy and supposition, this book provides a true window on this fascinating world.  Here is some of what© says about it...."Wild dolphins are an elusive subject for behavioral studies: How can you "do a Jane Goodall" on animals usually visible only as a glimpse of rolling dorsal fins heading for the horizon? In this unusual book, two of the best-known scientists in the marine-mammal field have assembled an astonishing variety of discoveries about dolphins. The contributions range from a graduate student's first paper to senior scientists summarizing a lifetime of research. The dolphins they have studied range from tiny spinners to majestic pilot whales, from killer whales to the familiar bottle-nosed dolphin. The research tactics vary just as widely: the researchers have followed dolphins in boats, tracked them from shore, dived among hundreds of them (plus a few sharks) in tuna fishing nets. They have used computers and airplanes, genetic analysis and artificial language, and learned to read the life history of a dolphin from the cross-section of a single tooth. Pryor and Norris are successful writers as well as scientists; the book is peppered with entertaining essays, by one or both editors, on the intriguing history of dolphin research. Dolphin Societies not only surveys the most interesting recent research on dolphin behavior but also gives lay readers a fascinating look at the scientific mind at work". 


CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine,...       

cover "The CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine". One of the most valuable references in our libraries. For serious marine mammal professionals and students. Some people call this the bible of marine mammal care and medicine.  We refer to this book more often than any other in our library. (Just check out how many times it is cited in our Bibliography page.) Each chapter is written by some of the most respected specialists in their own areas of expertise.  Here is some of the description provided on the© website......"If you have an interest in marine mammals, this handbook is a must! Filled with captivating illustrations, this handbook guides you through the natural history of cetaceans, pinnipeds, manatees, sea otters, and polar bears. Prepared in a convenient, easy-to-use format, the reader will appreciate this work which is designed specifically for use in the field. Covering more than 40 topics, this one-of-a-kind reference is packed with interesting data never before addressed in any other source. Exhaustive in scope, this is the only reference guide you will ever need to take with you into the field. The established veterinarian as well as the layperson will value this comprehensive compilation of information which includes medicine, surgery, pathology, physiology, husbandry, feeding and housing, with special emphasis on strandings and rehabilitation". 



Handbook of Marine Mammals : The Second...

cover "The Handbook of Marine Mammals: Volume Six" Another one of the most valuable marine mammal reference books available. (This one is Volume 6 in a series of 6)  For serious marine mammal professionals and students. "Some of the world's most beautiful, intelligent and highly adapted mammals inhabit our seas and oceans, and have stirred the human imagination for many centuries. As our knowledge of marine mammals grows, the need exists for a reliable and complete reference to the ecology and biology of these fascinating creatures. The Handbook of Marine Mammals series was founded with this in mind and now reaches its conclusion with this sixth and final volume. Within the pages of this classic series, scientists, conservationists and informed layperson alike can find the definitive review of all the world's whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and related species as well as sea otters and sea cows. Volume 6 covers the remaining dolphins and porpoises in a series of 17 chapters, each written by a specialist author with extensive personal research experience of the species. Each chapter provides a description of the species, and includes sections on the aspects of distribution and abundance, anatomy, physiology, behavior, reproduction, parasites and diseases and the impact of human activity on the animal's population and well-being. Numerous maps, photos and drawings illustrate the text."


Here is a list of books that© recommends based on what their customers are buying on this subject.  This list is pretty cool. It is updated each time this page opens. To see a new list just hit the "Refresh" or "Reload" icon on your web browser. 


None of these books sound like what you're looking for? You can search for books on any subject (and a whole bunch of other stuff as well) by typing key words into the search box below.  Just click on the arrow and select "books" (or any other subject you like). Then type in a key word and hit "go".  

In Association with

Here are a few Key Words about marine mammals to get you started.  Just highlight, copy and paste the ones that interest you into the search box and hit "go": ....... animal behavior, animal careers, animal husbandry, animal training, aquariums, biology, cetaceans, dolphins, dolphin training, dolphin trainers, killer whales, killer whale training, manatees, marine biology, marine mammals, marine mammal training, marine mammal careers, natural history, oceanariums, oceanography, operant conditioning, Orcinus orca, orcas, pinnipeds, polar bears, porpoises, positive reinforcement, profession, research, training, trainers, sea lions, seals, sea otters, Tursiops truncatus, walruses, whales, zoological parks, zoo keepers, zoos.


 In association with

Copyright © 2000-2011 All rights reserved.
Revised: January 14, 2011 .





Hit Counter