A New York Times Bestseller
Do fishes think? Do they really have three-second memories? And can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? In What a Fish Knows, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, taking us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes. Although there are more than thirty thousand species of fish--more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined--we rarely consider how individual fishes think, feel, and behave. Balcombe upends our assumptions about fishes, portraying them not as unfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines but as sentient, aware, social, and even Machiavellian--in other words, much like us.
What a Fish Knows draws on the latest science to present a fresh look at these remarkable creatures in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty. Fishes conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoalmates. They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, curry favor, deceive one another, and punish wrongdoers. We may imagine that fishes lead simple, fleeting lives--a mode of existence that boils down to a place on the food chain, rote spawning, and lots of aimless swimming. But, as Balcombe demonstrates, the truth is far richer and more complex, worthy of the grandest social novel.
Highlighting breakthrough discoveries from fish enthusiasts and scientists around the world and pondering his own encounters with fishes, Balcombe examines the fascinating means by which fishes gain knowledge of the places they inhabit, from shallow tide pools to the deepest reaches of the ocean.
Teeming with insights and exciting discoveries, What a Fish Knows offers a thoughtful appraisal of our relationships with fishes and inspires us to take a more enlightened view of the planet's increasingly imperiled marine life. What a Fish Knows will forever change how we see our aquatic cousins--the pet goldfish included.
An unprecedented and masterfully told biography of Jacques Cousteau that reveals for the first time the fascinating and compelling individual behind this famous television personality.Inventor of the aqualung and fearless scuba diver, Jacques Cousteau opened up the ocean to a mass audience for the first time. Here, with the cooperation of many of the subjects closest confidants and family, Brad Matsen makes clear the full picture of his remarkable life, showing the father, military man, inventor, entrepreneur, and adventurer behind the public face. Vividly conveying the people, the science, and the lure of the sea that shaped Cousteau's life, Matsen paints a luminous portrait of a man who profoundly changed the way we live on our planet.
Beach stones, abundant and free for the taking, are objects of contemplation, beauty, and sentiment. They come in many colours, shapes and patterns, are fun to collect and even have sensuous qualities. This book helps you understand the life of beach stones. It also brings us the stories of such stones.
"If you enjoy the quirkier side of nature, this book of strange but true tales is a must."--BBC Wildlife
"This is a book about the ocean's marvels, mythical and real--among them the meter-long epaulette shark that does indeed walk."--New Scientist
When you dive into the sea, do you ever wonder what's down there, beneath you, poised to take an inquisitive bite? Author of Jaws Peter Benchley and film director Steven Spielberg certainly did, for below the waves lies a world we neither see nor understand; an alien world where we are but the briefest of visitors. The Shark that Walks on Land uncovers tales of ancient and modern mariners, with stories of sea serpents, mermaids and mermen, sea dragons, and the true identity of the legendary kraken. But this book contains more than just a medley of maritime myths and mysteries for marine biologists; it celebrates wonderful discoveries by blending the unknown and the familiar in an entertaining miscellany of facts, figures, and anecdotes about the myriad creatures that inhabit the oceans. Along the way we meet the giants, the most dangerous, the oddballs, and the record breakers-- and the shark that really does walk on land
Michael Bright is the author of a number of books on natural history. He is an award-winning filmmaker with the BBC's Natural History Unit.
Winner of the 2015 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award: "Horwitz's dogged reporting...combined with crisp, cinematic writing, produces a powerful narrative.... He has written a book that is instructive and passionate and deserving a wide audience" (PEN Award Citation).Six years in the making, War of the Whales is the "gripping detective tale" (Publishers Weekly) of a crusading attorney, Joel Reynolds, who stumbles on one of the US Navy's best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound--and drives whales onto beaches. As Joel Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth. "War of the Whales reads like the best investigative journalism, with cinematic scenes of strandings and dramatic David-and-Goliath courtroom dramas as activists diligently hold the Navy accountable" (The Huffington Post). When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. "Strong and valuable" (The Washington Post), "brilliantly told" (Bob Woodward), author Joshua Horwitz combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue to "raise serious questions about the unchecked use of secrecy by the military to advance its institutional power" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
The codfish. Wars have been fought over it, revolutions have been spurred by it, national diets have been based on it, economies and livelihoods have depended on it, and the settlement of North America was driven by it. To the millions it has sustained, it has been a treasure more precious than gold. Indeed, the codfish has played a fascinating and crucial role in world history.
Cod spans a thousand years and four continents. From the Vikings, who pursued the codfish across the Atlantic, and the enigmatic Basques, who first commercialized it in medieval times, to Bartholomew Gosnold, who named Cape Cod in 1602, and Clarence Birdseye, who founded an industry on frozen cod in the 1930s, Mark Kurlansky introduces the explorers, merchants, writers, chefs, and of course the fishermen, whose lives have interwoven with this prolific fish. He chronicles the fifteenth-century politics of the Hanseatic League and the cod wars of the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. He embellishes his story with gastronomic detail, blending in recipes and lore from the Middle Ages to the present.
And he brings to life the cod itself: its personality, habits, extended family, and ultimately the tragedy of how the most profitable fish in history is today faced with extinction.
From fishing ports in New England and Newfoundland to coastal skiffs, schooners, and factory ships across the Atlantic; from Iceland and Scandinavia to the coasts of England, Brazil, and West Africa, Mark Kurlansky tells a story that brings world history and human passions into captivating focus.