New insights into the world's most-feared predator.
Sharks are exquisite creatures refined and honed by competitive forces that have lived in balance with ocean prey for millions of years. They live in every ocean habitat on Earth, from shallow tide pools to the deep abyss, and from the open ocean to where rivers meet the sea. In Sharks a top research scientist explores what has made sharks such successful predators, how they differ from other animals in their biological success and what unique advantages evolution has conferred. Sharks is illustrated with uniquely sourced photography demonstrating newly observed behavior, scientific findings and recent developments in our understanding of how they live. Sharks is both a spectacular visual celebration, and a scientific document that explores in detail their unique physiology.
A powerful swimming stroke is delivered from sharks' muscles directly to their tough skin shell forcing their body to "inflate" like a car tire with each flex, then quickly become fluid to glide as the muscles relax. By diving through the various water layers, a shark may locate and follow chemical scent trails that could lead to food concentrations. Thus a shark moving from one temperature layer to the next can expose its sensory equipment to new chemical cues and potentially new food sources. Some deep-sea sharks also lure prey with their light-producing organs.
Salvador Jorgensen has combined the latest discoveries of new species, newly-documented shark behavior, and the best photographs, to give a "state-of-knowledge" picture of sharks. Unique pictures of shark births, recently discovered creatures from the Ocean Census research, and details of sharks' skin, eyes, teeth and heads (including a comparison of nine different hammerhead varieties) make this a book every shark enthusiast will want. It will also debunk many myths about shark behavior, and give libraries a true, 21st-century documentation of a very popular wild animal.
Sharks features illustrated profiles of species living in the shallow reefs and also those living in the open ocean along with a unique "cladogram" family tree that opens into a gatefold and profiles every known species.
For every nature writer there seems to be one special place that tutors him or her in the ways of nature and the relationships of humans to the natural world, including the spiritual dimension. For Thoreau, it was a pond; for Henry Beaton, a barrier beach; for Annie Dillard, a creek. For Harry Thurston, it is the salt marsh, that part of the planet where land meets sea.Based upon childhood memory and his naturalist's journals, "A Place Between the Tides" is the story of Thurston's return to the beloved environment of his boyhood when he moves to the Old Marsh, a 1.5-hectare marsh on the banks of the Tidnish River in Nova Scotia. Elegantly moving back and forth in time, from the present year through the past decade and all the way back to childhood, the book describes the seasons in the life of the marsh as filtered through two decades of Thurston's living there. Blending acute analysis and a poet's lyricism, Thurston explores and examines one of the most productive and biologically diverse habitats on Earth, a habitat that has been degraded relentlessly since European settlement, making the few standing marshes precious because they are so vulnerable and vital.
Dolphins are highly evolved and social animals, with their own language of clicks and whistles and elaborate courtship rituals. Their obvious curiosity about the world extends to humans, if only for a few moments of fun, but unfortunately this factor of their intelligence has made them targets for exploitation. Add that to pollution, toxins and the practice in some cultures to kill them for food, dolphins, while not yet an endangered species, are continually threatened.
In this intimate portrait of an island lobstering community and an eccentric band of renegade biologists, journalist Trevor Corson escorts the reader onto the slippery decks of fishing boats, through danger-filled scuba dives, and deep into the churning currents of the Gulf of Maine to learn about the secret undersea lives of lobsters.
In revelations from the laboratory and the sea that are by turns astonishing and humorous, the lobster proves itself to be not only a delicious meal and a sustainable resource but also an amorous master of the boudoir, a lethal boxer, and a snoopy socializer with a nose that lets it track prey and paramour alike with the skill of a bloodhound.
The Secret Life of Lobsters is a rollicking oceanic odyssey punctuated by salt spray, melted butter, and predators lurking in the murky depths.
A Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
A New York Times Notable Book
One of TIME's 100 Must Read Books of the Year
One of The Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Books of the Year
One of Smithsonian Magazine's 10 Best Science Books of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
A New York Times Editor's Choice
Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish--the eel--and a reflection on the human condition
Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question" Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery.
Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel's point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea.
Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson's journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant.