At the Water's Edge will change the way you think about your place in the world. The awesome journey of life's transformation from the first microbes 4 billion years ago to Homo sapiens today is an epic that we are only now beginning to grasp. Magnificent and bizarre, it is the story of how we got here, what we left behind, and what we brought with us.
We all know about evolution, but it still seems absurd that our ancestors were fish. Darwin's idea of natural selection was the key to solving generation-to-generation evolution -- microevolution -- but it could only point us toward a complete explanation, still to come, of the engines of macroevolution, the transformation of body shapes across millions of years. Now, drawing on the latest fossil discoveries and breakthrough scientific analysis, Carl Zimmer reveals how macroevolution works. Escorting us along the trail of discovery up to the current dramatic research in paleontology, ecology, genetics, and embryology, Zimmer shows how scientists today are unveiling the secrets of life that biologists struggled with two centuries ago.
In this book, you will find a dazzling, brash literary talent and a rigorous scientific sensibility gracefully brought together. Carl Zimmer provides a comprehensive, lucid, and authoritative answer to the mystery of how nature actually made itself.
In this remarkable groundbreaking book, a documentarian and conservationist, determined to dispel misplaced fear and correct common misconceptions, explores in-depth the secret lives of sharks--magnificent creatures who play an integral part in maintaining the health of the world's oceans and ultimately the planet.
From the Jaws blockbusters to Shark Week, we are conditioned to see sharks as terrifying cold-blooded underwater predators. But as Ocean Guardian founder William McKeever reveals, sharks are evolutionary marvels essential to maintaining a balanced ecosystem. We can learn much from sharks, he argues, and our knowledge about them continues to grow. The first book to reveal in full the hidden lives of sharks, Emperors of the Deep examines four species--Mako, Tiger, Hammerhead, and Great White--as never before, and includes fascinating details such as:
- Sharks are 50-million years older than trees;
- Sharks have survived five extinction level events, including the one that killed off the dinosaurs;
- Sharks have electroreception, a sixth-sense that lets them pick up on electric fields generated by living things;
- Sharks can dive 4,000 feet below the surface;
- Sharks account for only 6 human fatalities per year, while humans kill 100 million sharks per year.
McKeever goes back through time to probe the shark's pre-historic secrets and how it has become the world's most feared and most misunderstood predator, and takes us on a pulse-pounding tour around the world and deep under the water's surface, from the frigid waters of the Arctic Circle to the coral reefs of the tropical Central Pacific, to see sharks up close in their natural habitat. He also interviews ecologists, conservationists, and world-renowned shark experts, including the founders of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior, the head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, and the self-professed "last great shark hunter."
At once a deep-dive into the misunderstood world of sharks and an urgent call to protect them, Emperors of the Deep celebrates this wild species that hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of the ocean--if we can prevent their extinction from climate change and human hunters.
An unexpected, energetic look at world history on sea and land from the bestselling author of Salt and The Basque History of the WorldCod, Mark Kurlansky's third work of nonfiction and winner of the 1999 James Beard Award, is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary. In this lovely, thoughtful history, Mark Kurlansky ponders the question: Is the fish that changed the world forever changed by the world's folly? "Every once in a while a writer of particular skill takes a fresh, seemingly improbable idea and turns out a book of pure delight. Such is the case of Mark Kurlansky and the codfish." -David McCullough, author of The Wright Brothers and 1776
A charming deep dive into the hidden world of seaweed, filled with fascinating facts and beautiful illustrations of the most sensuous family of water plants.
Seaweed is so familiar, and yet we know so little about it. Even its names--pepper dulse, sea lettuce, bladderwrack--are mystifying.
In this exquisitely illustrated portrait, poet and artist Miek Zwamborn shares discoveries of seaweed's history, culture, and science. We encounter its medicinal and gastronomic properties and long history of human use, from the Neolithic people of the Orkney islands to sushi artisans in modern Japan. We find seaweed troubling Columbus on his voyages across the Atlantic and intriguing Humboldt in the Sargasso Sea. We follow its inspiration for artists from Hokusai to Matisse, its collection by Victorians as pressed specimens in books, its adoption into fashion and dance, and its potential for combating climate change, as a sustainable food source and a means of reducing methane emissions in cattle.
And, of course, we learn how to eat seaweed, through a fabulous series of recipes based around these "truffles of the seas."
A New York Times BestsellerInspired by a profound experience swimming with wild dolphins off the coast of Maui, Susan Casey set out on a quest to learn everything she could about these creatures. Her journey takes her from a community in Hawaii known as "Dolphinville," where the animals are seen as the key to spiritual enlightenment, to the dark side of the human-cetacean relationship at marine parks and dolphin-hunting grounds in Japan and the Solomon Islands, to the island of Crete, where the Minoan civilization lived in harmony with dolphins, providing a millennia-old example of a more enlightened coexistence with the natural world. Along the way, Casey recounts the history of dolphin research and introduces us to the leading marine scientists and activists who have made it their life's work to increase humans' understanding and appreciation of the wonder of dolphins--the other intelligent life on the planet.
A comprehensive new look at the great white shark.
Great White Shark covers all aspects of this great but sadly misunderstood ocean predator. There are three sections: Portrait of the Great White; Searching for the Great White; and Requiem for the Great White? Together they describe shark biology and behavior (some of it previously unknown, such as hunting in groups) and describe how researchers and conservationists study and protect sharks.
The last section considers the plight of the shark and paints an accurate portrait of this remarkable creature. It also surveys the deadly dangers faced by great white sharks, such as finning and ocean garbage. More than 100 dramatic photographs of sharks fill the book.
Four experts -- underwater photographer Fr d ric Buyle, oceanographer Catherine Vadon, marine zoologist Michael Scholl, and marine biologist Bernard S ret -- reflect on the future of the species now living on borrowed time.
Great White Shark is an exciting new chapter in shark research.