- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (6 November 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1770852816
- ISBN-13: 978-1770852815
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.5 x 27.9 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,44,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Creatures of the Deep: In Search of the Sea's "Monsters" and the World They Live in Hardcover – Import, 6 Nov 2014
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[Reviews of previous edition: ] 'Outstanding photographs and a well-written, enthusiastic text ... a worthwhile addition to school science collections' -- Rayna Patton, VOYA [Voice of Youth Advocates]. 'More than a picture book ... Hoyt's elegant writing provides both the historical background for deep-sea exploration and an ecological perspective on life in the ocean's depths' -- American Scientist. 'A magnificent bestiary ... and a reminder of how little we actually know about the seas surrounding us' -- Popular Science.
About the Author
Erich Hoyt has spent much of his life on, beneath or near the sea, working with whales and dolphins and marine conservation. The acclaimed author of Orca: The Whale Called Killer and many other books, Hoyt lives and works in North Berwick, Scotland.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
It's also a beautiful book. Because of its size and amount of beautiful photos, you might be tempted to think of it as a coffee table book, but it's actually very well-written (although I must admit, I find myself constantly drawn to those great pictures). The author is obviously passionate and knowledgeable about the ocean and it's nice to find a book that discusses it in an intelligent way but doesn't become too textbook-ish. I found the organization rather confusing, however, and the breakdown of the parts isn't apparent or explained. As near as I could tell, part 1 explains the different zones of the ocean, from the surface waters down to the deepest trenches, and some of the animals that are found in each. Part 2 focuses more on the individual creatures themselves and the food chains, and part 3 is about the geography of the ocean floor, its mountains and the role of tectonic plates - while once again, discussing many of the creatures that live there, such as those worms etc. that live around thermal vents. Part 4 explains conservation efforts and the history of our study of the ocean - or at least that's how I saw it. Nonetheless, a very beautiful and well-written book that will appeal to kids and parents alike.
Hoyt begins with a journey through the different layers of the ocean: Epipelagic Zone (surface to 660 feet), Mesopelagic Zone (660 to 3,300 feet), Bathypelagic Zone (3,300 to 13,000 feet), and Abyssopelagic Zone (13,000 to 20,000 feet). In each of the zones, he talks about characteristics of the zones as well as creatures that are found within the zones. He gives a little insight into some of the history of exploration as well as discusses some of the key researchers and discoveries. The images are amazing. Some of the creatures are beautiful, some are hideous, some are odd, but all are fascinating.
Part 2 dives into the circle of life (aka: the food chain) in the ocean. It discusses: plankton, copepods, jellyfish, big sharks (plankton-strainers), squid, big sharks (flesh-eaters), killer while vs. shark, dragonfish, and finally the web that begins with krill. A large portion of part 2 is spent with squid since many recent discoveries have been made including the live footage of the giant squid in 2012 and capturing a colossal squid in 2007. My daughter found the killer whale vs. shark portion to be rather exciting which lead to more study of the topic as well as watching the footage of the attack. As with other sections, this section features beautiful images of the various creatures.
Part 3 takes an exploratory look at the ocean floor, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Creatures of the Sulfur Garden, The Galapagos Rift, Black Smokers, and Archaeans. This section takes a look at the unique creatures of the various areas in the ocean as well as delving into the interesting features of the ocean topography. It talks about how they have adapted to sometimes extremely harsh environments and not only survived but thrived. A glimpse at the unique nature of these creatures is given through beautiful photography.
Part 4 concludes with a look at the history of cataloging the sea. Because we have studied/explored such a small portion of the ocean, it's easy to see how new creatures are being found as more exploration is done. There is much we have still to discover and understand about the creatures in the ocean. He talks about many of the new discoveries that have been made starting in the 20th century and moving forward. As technology has increased, more discoveries have been made about ocean life including new ecosystems and animals. He also delves into how to protect the habitats of ocean life as well as the importance of biodiversity.
If you have someone who loves the ocean and the creatures within, you'll want to add this book to your library. It's not only a beautiful collection of images of beautiful and bizarre creatures but also a nice reference book. Hoyt's passion for the ocean, for the creatures of the ocean shine through on each page of the book and help bring the ocean to you.