Before there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs. And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods-the ancestors of modern squid and Earth's first truly substantial animals. Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming. With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an undersea empire for millions of years. But when fish evolved jaws, the ocean's former top predator became its most delicious snack. Cephalopods had to step up their game. Many species streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, but these enhancements only provided a brief advantage. Some cephalopods then abandoned the shell entirely, which opened the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations: masterful camouflage, fin-supplemented jet propulsion, perhaps even dolphin-like intelligence. Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years, from the marine life of the primordial ocean to the calamari on tonight's menu. Anyone who enjoys the undersea world-along with all those obsessed with things prehistoric-will be interested in the sometimes enormous, often bizarre creatures that ruled the seas long before the first dinosaurs.
The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods
Author: Danna Staaf
Publisher: University Press of New England
The ancient, mysterious, intelligent, and adaptable creatures who once ruled the oceans
The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods
Author: Danna Staaf
Kraken is the traditional name for gigantic sea monsters, and this book introduces one of the most charismatic, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants of the sea: the squid. The pages take the reader on a wild narrative ride through the world of squid science and adventure, along the way addressing some riddles about what intelligence is, and what monsters lie in the deep. In addition to squid, both giant and otherwise, Kraken examines other equally enthralling cephalopods, including the octopus and the cuttlefish, and explores their otherworldly abilities, such as camouflage and bioluminescence. Accessible and entertaining, Kraken is also the first substantial volume on the subject in more than a decade and a must for fans of popular science. Praise for KRAKEN: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid "Williams writes with a deft, supple hand as she surveys these spindly, extraordinary beasts and their world. She reminds us that the known world might be considerably larger than in the days of the bestiary-makers, but there is still room for wonder and strangeness." -Los Angeles Times.com "Williams's account of squid, octopuses, and other cephalopods abounds with both ancient legend and modern science." -Discover "[Exposes squid's] eerie similarities to the human species, down to eye structure and the all-important brain cell, the neuron." -New York Post "just the right mix of history and science" -ForeWord Reviews "Kraken is an engaging and expansive biography of a creature that sparks our imagination and stimulates our curiosity. It's a perfect blend of storytelling and science." -Vincent Pieribone, author of Aglow in the Dark KRAKEN extracts pure joy, intellectual exhilaration, and deep wonder from the most unlikely of places--squid. It is hard to read Wendy Williams's luminous account and not feel the thrill of discovery of the utterly profound connections we share with squid and all other living things on the planet. With wit, passion, and skill as a storyteller, Williams has given us a beautiful window into our world and ourselves. --Neil Shubin, author of the national bestseller "Your Inner Fish" Wendy William's KRAKEN weaves vignettes of stories about historical encounters with squid and octopus, with stories of today's scientists who are captivated by these animals. Her compelling book has the power to change your world-view about these creatures of the sea, while telling the gripping, wholly comprehensible story of the ways in which these animals have changed human medical history. --Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation
The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid
Author: Wendy Williams
With their large brains, elaborate sense organs and complex behaviour, cephalopods are among the world's most highly evolved invertebrates. This second edition summarises the wealth of exciting new research data stemming from over five hundred papers published since the first volume appeared. It adopts a comparative approach to causation, function, development and evolution as it explores cephalopod behaviour in natural habitats and the laboratory. Extensive colour and black-and-white photography illustrates various aspects of cephalopod behaviour to complement the scientific analysis. Covering the major octopus, squid and cuttlefish species, as well as the shelled Nautilus, this is an essential resource for undergraduate and advanced students of animal behaviour, as well as researchers new to cephalopods, in fields such as neuroscience and conservation biology. By highlighting the gaps in current knowledge, the text looks to inform and to stimulate further study of these enigmatic and beautiful animals.
Author: Roger T. Hanlon,John B. Messenger
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Thatcher Hill is bored stiff of his summer job dusting the fake mermaids and shrunken heads at his uncle's seaside Museum of Curiosities. But when a mysterious girl steals an artifact from the museum, Thatcher's summer becomes an adventure that takes him from the top of the ferris wheel to the depths of the sea. Following the thief, he learns that she is a princess of the lost Atlantis. Her people have been cursed by an evil witch to drift at sea all winter and wash up on shore each summer to an even more terrible fate-working the midway games and food stands on the boardwalk. Can Thatcher help save them before he, too, succumbs to the witch's curse? With sharp, witty writing that reads like a middle-grade Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Greg van Eekhout's first book for young readers is a wild ride packed with as many laughs as it has thrills.
Author: Greg van Eekhout
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Juvenile Fiction
A former ocean scientist goes in pursuit of the slippery story of jellyfish, rediscovering her passion for marine science and the sea's imperiled ecosystems. Jellyfish are an enigma. They have no centralized brain, but they see and feel and react to their environment in complex ways. They look simple, yet their propulsion systems are so advanced engineers are just learning how to mimic them. They produce some of the deadliest toxins on the planet and yet are undeniably alluring. Long ignored by science, they may be a key to ecosystem stability. Juli Berwald's journey into the world of jellyfish is a personal one. Over a decade ago she left the sea and her scientific career behind to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas. Increasingly dire headlines drew her back to jellies, as unprecedented jellyfish blooms toppled ecosystems and collapsed the world's most productive fisheries. What was unclear was whether these incidents were symptoms of a changing planet or part of a natural cycle. Berwald's desire to understand jellyfish takes her on a scientific odyssey. She travels the globe to meet the scientists who devote their careers to jellies, hitches rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, raises jellyfish in her dining room, and throughout it all marvels at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless reveals that jellyfish are a bellwether for the damage we're inflicting on the climate and the oceans and a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share.
The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone
Author: Juli Berwald
Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Arctic, Antarctic
Author: Mark Douglas Norman
Join Aaron Reynolds and Sara Varon as they explore the ideal qualities of leaders, diplomats...and giant squid. Squid knows all about being president. It means living in a big house, doing all the talking—oh, and having a tie is crucial. He's all set! In the next election, make a more informed choice. Vote for President Squid! And this is the fixed-format version, which looks almost identical to the print edition!
Author: Aaron Reynolds
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Focusing on comparative cognition in cephalopods, this book illuminates the wide range of mental function in this often overlooked group.
Author: Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq,Ludovic Dickel,Jennifer Mather
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
For too long, efforts to synthesize evolution and development have failed to build a united view of the origins and evolution of biological diversity. In this groundbreaking book, David Stern sets out to draw evolutionary biology and developmental biology together by cutting through the differences that divide the disciplines and by revealing their deeper similarities. He draws upon the insights of generations of evolutionary biologists and scores of developmental biologists to build a solid foundation for future investigation of the genetic and developmental causes of diversity. Along the way, and in plain English, he explicates many of the guiding principles of evolution, population genetics, and developmental biology. Each chapter offers a clear review of fundamental principles, together with thoughtprovoking ideas that will be tested only with data emerging from current and future studies. With the basic principles established, he then offers a new way of thinking about development--backwards--to clarify precisely how the mechanisms of development influence evolution. In the same spirit, he takes a fresh look at evolution in populations, arguing that population history influences precisely how developmental mechanisms evolve. Both Stern's new perspective on development and his reassessment of the role of populations leads to the surprising conclusion that the evolution of genomes appears to be predictable. Stern argues that developmental biology and evolutionary biology are intertwined: it is impossible to understand one of them fully without understanding the other. This book provides a clear and wide-ranging introduction to evolution and development for the basic reader; graduate students will be introduced to the cutting-edge of research in evolutionary developmental biology; and experts in evolution or development will receive both an uncomplicated introduction to the other discipline and an abundance of new, provocative ideas.
Author: David Lawrence Stern
Publisher: Roberts & Company
The visually arresting and often misunderstood octopus has long captured popular imagination. With an alien appearance and an uncanny intellect, this exceptional sea creature has inspired fear in famous lore and legends—from the giant octopus attack in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Ursula the sea witch in The Little Mermaid. Yet its true nature is more wondrous still. After decades of research, the authors reveal a sensitive, curious, and playful animal with remarkable intelligence, an ability to defend itself with camouflage and jet propulsion, an intricate nervous system, and advanced problem-solving abilities. In this beautifully photographed book, three leading marine biologists bring readers face to face with these amazingly complex animals that have fascinated scientists for decades. From the molluscan ancestry of today’s octopus to its ingenious anatomy, amazing mating and predatory behaviors, and other-worldly relatives, the authors take readers through the astounding life cycle, uncovering the details of distinctive octopus personalities. With personal narratives, underwater research, stunning closeup photography, and thoughtful guidance for keeping octopuses in captivity, Octopus is the first comprehensive natural history of this smart denizen of the sea.
The Ocean's Intelligent Invertebrate
Author: Roland C. Anderson,Jennifer A. Mather,James B. Wood
Publisher: Timber Press
“A pleasant, chatty book on a fascinating subject.” — Kirkus Reviews Octopuses have been captivating humans for as long as we have been catching them. Yet for all of our ancient fascination and modern research, we still have not been able to get a firm grasp on these enigmatic creatures. Katherine Harmon Courage dives into the mystifying underwater world of the octopus and reports on her research around the world. She reveals, for instance, that the oldest known octopus lived before the first dinosaurs; that two thirds of an octopus’s brain capacity is spread throughout its arms, meaning each literally has a mind of its own; and that it can change colors within milliseconds to camouflage itself, yet appears to be colorblind.
The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea
Author: Katherine Harmon Courage
Delves into the way the English language developed throughout history and the manner in which it is used in the modern day through observations about its commonalities and peculiarities, enhanced with charts, examples, spelling, and idioms.
The English Language Laid Bare
Author: Jeremy Butterfield
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Jellyfish, with their undulating umbrella-shaped bells and sprawling tentacles, are as fascinating and beautiful as they are frightening and dangerous. They are found in every ocean at every depth, and they are the oldest multi-organed life form on the planet, having inhabited the ocean for more than five hundred million years. In many places they are also vastly increasing in number, and these population blooms may be an ominous indicator of the rising temperatures and toxicity of the world’s oceans. Jellyfish presents these aquarium favorites in all their extraordinary and captivating beauty. Fifty unique species, from stalked jellyfish to black sea nettles, are presented in stunning color photographs along with the most current scientific information on their anatomy, history, distribution, position in the water, and environmental status. Foremost jellyfish expert Lisa-ann Gershwin provides an insightful look at the natural history and biology of each of these spellbinding creatures, while offering a timely take on their place in the rapidly changing and deteriorating condition of the oceans. Readers will learn about immortal jellyfish who live and die and live again as well as those who camouflage themselves amid sea grasses and shells, hiding in plain sight. Approachably written and based in the latest science and ecology, this colorful book provides an authoritative guide to these ethereal marine wonders.
A Natural History
Author: Lisa-ann Gershwin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
John Darwin's After Tamerlane, a sweeping six-hundred-year history of empires around the globe, marked him as a historian of "massive erudition" and narrative mastery. In Unfinished Empire, he marshals his gifts to deliver a monumental one-volume history of Britain's imperium-a work that is sure to stand as the most authoritative, most compelling treatment of the subject for a generation. Darwin unfurls the British Empire's beginnings and decline and its extraordinary range of forms of rule, from settler colonies to island enclaves, from the princely states of India to ramshackle trading posts. His penetrating analysis offers a corrective to those who portray the empire as either naked exploitation or a grand "civilizing mission." Far from ever having a "master plan," the British Empire was controlled by a range of interests often at loggerheads with one another and was as much driven on by others' weaknesses as by its own strength. It shows, too, that the empire was never stable: to govern was a violent process, inevitably creating wars and rebellions. Unfinished Empire is a remarkable, nuanced history of the most complex polity the world has ever known, and a serious attempt to describe the diverse, contradictory ways-from the military to the cultural-in which empires really function. This is essential reading for any lover of sweeping history, or anyone wishing to understand how the modern world came into being.
The Global Expansion of Britain
Author: John Darwin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
A wildlife expert explores what science tells us about animals as unique individuals and why animal personality matters for the human-animal bond and for adaptation in nature. Why are some cats cuddly and others standoffish? Why are some dogs adventuresome, others homebodies? As any pet owner can attest, we feel that the animals we've formed bonds with are unique, as particular (and peculiar) as any human friend or loved one. Recent years have brought an increased understanding of animal intelligence and emotion. But is there a scientific basis for animal personality and individuality, or is this notion purely sentimental? It turns out that science has been reluctant to even broach the subject of individuality until recently. But now, a fundamental shift in scientific understanding is underway, as mainstream scientists begin to accept the idea that animals of all kinds--from beloved beasts like apes and birds to decidedly less cuddly creatures like crabs and spiders--do indeed have individual personalities. In Mousy Cats and Sheepish Coyotes, veteran wildlife expert Dr. John A. Shivik brings us stories from the front lines of this exciting new discipline. Drawing on his scientific training, as well as his storytelling gifts, Shivik serves as an accessible, humorous guide to the emerging body of research on animal personalities. Shivik accompanies researchers who are discovering that each wolf, bear, and coyote has an inherent tendency to favor either its aggressive nature or to shyly avoid conflicts. Some bluebirds are lovers, others are fighters. And some spiders prefer to be loners, while others are sociable. Unique personalities can be discovered in every corner of the animal kingdom--even among microscopic organisms. The array of personality types among all species is only beginning to be described and understood. As Shivik argues, animals' unique personalities are important not only because they determine which animals we bond with. Individual animal traits are also fundamental but still inadequately understood drivers of evolution, adaptation, and species diversity. Ultimately, Mousy Cats and Sheepish Coyotes offers insight into the similarities humans share with animals and presents evidence of an unbroken biological connection from the smallest organisms to Homo sapiens.
The Science of Animal Personalities
Author: John Shivik
Publisher: Beacon Press
A brilliantly illuminating and darkly comic tale of the ongoing financial and political crisis in America The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The grifter class—made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding—has been growing in power, and the crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they’ve hijacked America’s political and economic life. Matt Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing account yet written of this ongoing American crisis. He offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals of the bailout; tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”; and uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of this country, and the profound consequences for us all.
Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
Author: Matt Taibbi
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Category: Political Science
Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction * New York Times Bestseller * Starred Booklist and Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick * A Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year * One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads * Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year * An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year “Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” —New Statesman, UK “One of the best science books of the year.” —Science Friday, NPR Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig, this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” (Daily Beast) book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food. Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.
A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
Author: Sy Montgomery
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Humans are mammals. Most of us appreciate that at some level. But what does it mean for us to have more in common with a horse and an elephant than we do with a parrot, snake or frog? After a misdirected football left new father Liam Drew clutching a uniquely mammalian part of his anatomy, he decided to find out more. Considering himself as a mammal first and a human second, Liam delves into ancient biological history to understand what it means to be mammalian. In his humorous and engaging style, Liam explores the different characteristics that distinguish mammals from other types of animals. He charts the evolution of milk, warm blood and burgeoning brains, and examines the emergence of sophisticated teeth, exquisite ears, and elaborate reproductive biology, plus a host of other mammalian innovations. Entwined are tales of zoological peculiarities and reflections on how being a mammal has shaped the author's life. I, Mammal is a history of mammals and their ancestors and of how science came to grasp mammalian evolution. And in celebrating our mammalian-ness, Liam Drew binds us a little more tightly to the five and a half thousand other species of mammal on this planet and reveals the deep roots of many traits humans hold dear.
The Story of What Makes Us Mammals
Author: Liam Drew
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing