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Sharks are among the most persecuted animals on Earth. Nicole’s block-buster story lifts the lid on the shocking details of the trade in shark fins, and raises awareness of the plight of sharks in the 21st century.
In November 2003 a female Great White Shark was tagged near Dyer Island in South Africa. Her tag popped up in February 2004, just south of Western Australia. The shark, later to be named Nicole (after shark enthusiast Nicole Kidman), had swum an epic 11,000 km. Scientists were even more surprised when she was identified back in South Africa in August 2004 – she had covered 22,000 km in less than nine months, using pinpoint navigation both ways.
Since then, many Great Whites have been tagged and have shown a propensity for undertaking long migrations – but none has yet matched Nicole's amazing feat. This story incorporates a blend of science, actual events and real people, along with conjecture as to what might have happened on Nicole's momentous journey.
Great White sharks, attracted by an offshore seal colony, have brought success to the adjacent fishing village of Gansbaai along the southern African coast. A flourishing shark cage diving industry has sprung up, bringing jobs and money, and so benefiting almost the entire community. Tourists come from far and near to experience the thrill of a real-life brush with the legendary ‘Jaws’. Shark Town, as it has become known, is booming. Then one day, the sharks disappear. Slowly at first, but with gathering momentum, the word spreads: cage diving off Gansbaai can no longer promise the thrill of an encounter. The crowds thin, the boats remain at their moorings, and the once bustling community waits as their livelihoods tail off. Entrepreneurs and scientists alike are baffled.
But it’s not long before shark carcasses start washing up on the beaches. These, together with some coincidental sightings of another apex predator in the vicinity, are the first leads to the possible causes and culprits. Against the clamour and thrill of the cage-diving season in full swing, Richard Peirce visits the unfolding drama and explores what’s behind these strange events.
When the famous South African fish scientist Professor JLB Smith published Old Fourlegs - The Story of the Coelacanth in 1956 he created an international sensation. After all, this 400-million-year-old fish, known only from fossil remains, was thought to have become extinct around 66 million years ago! JLB Smith’s dramatic account of the discovery of the first and second coelacanths in 1938 and 1952 turned him into a cult figure and put South African science on the world map. His book was eventually published in six English editions and translated into nine foreign languages.
Mike Bruton’s The Annotated Old Fourlegs includes a facsimile reprint of the original book, to which he has added notes and images in the margins that provide an interesting and revealing commentary on Smith’s text, as well as new introductory and explanatory chapters that bring the coelacanth story up to date.
An epic and fun history spanning from the mollusks that invented swimming to the octopuses and other intelligent cephalopods of today Publisher's Note: Monarchs of the Sea was previously published in hardcover as Squid Empire. Before mammals, there were dinosaurs. And before dinosaurs, there were cephalopods--the ancestors of modern squid, octopuses, and more creatures--Earth's first truly substantial animals. Essentially inventing the act of swimming, cephalopods presided over an undersea empire for millions of years--until fish evolved jaws, and cephalopods had to step up their game or risk being eaten. To keep up, some streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, while others abandoned the shell, opening the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations: masterful camouflage, fin-supplemented jet propulsion, and intelligence we've yet to fully measure. Monarchs of the Sea is an epic, witty history about these bizarre but beautiful creatures that ruled the seas--and still captivate us today.
Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. We have hunted them for thousands of years and scratched their icons into our mythologies. They simultaneously fill us with waves of terror, awe and affection - yet we know hardly anything about them. Whales tend to only enter our awareness when they die, struck by a ship or stranded in the surf. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-like creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and roam entire ocean basins. Yet despite centuries of observing whales, we know little about their evolutionary past. Palaeontologist Nick Pyenson takes us to the ends of the earth and to the cutting edge of whale research as he searches for the answers to some of our biggest questions about these graceful giants. His rich storytelling takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collection, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert of Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whalebone site on earth. Spying on Whales is an illuminating story of scientific discovery that brings readers closer to the most enigmatic and beloved animals of all time.
The billfish is fixed at the apex of the oceanic food chain. Composed of sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and swordfish, they roam the pelagic waters of the Atlantic and are easily recognized by their long, spear-like beaks. Noted for their speed, size, and acrobatic jumps, billfish have for centuries inspired a broad spectrum of society. Even in antiquity, Aristotle, who assiduously studied the swordfish, named this gladiator of the sea xiphias - the sword. The Billfish Story tells the saga of this unique group of fish and those who have formed bonds with them - relationships forged by anglers, biologists, charter-boat captains, and conservationists through their pursuit, study, and protection of these species. More than simply reciting important discoveries, Stan Ulanski argues passionately that billfish occupy a position of unique importance in our culture as a nexus linking natural and human history. Ulanski, both a scientist and an angler, brings a rich background to the subject in a multifaceted approach that will enrich not only readers appreciation of billfish but the whole of the natural world.
The definitive field guide to all the sharks, rays and chimaeras of the European Atlantic and Mediterranean The waters of the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea are home to an amazing variety of sharks, rays and chimaeras. This comprehensive and easy-to-use field guide covers all 146 species found in the Mediterranean, the waters of the European Atlantic and Iceland, along all the Scandinavian coasts, in the Black Sea and as far south as the Canary Islands. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, habitat, biology and status. Every species account comes with a colour distribution map, a depth guide, at-a-glance icons and colour illustrations. This must-have field guide also features illustrated key guides that enable you to accurately identify down to species, comparison plates of similar species, illustrations of eggcases where known and plates of teeth. The first field guide to cover all 146 species Features hundreds of colour illustrations, photos, maps and diagrams Describes key features, habitat, biology and status Includes depth guides, at-a-glance icons, key guides and teeth plates
In "Shell Games," journalist Craig Welch delves into our nation's waters and wildlands in search of America's most unusual criminals. The resulting detective story is filled with butterfly thieves, bear poachers, shark-trafficking pastors--and a rogues' gallery of double-crossing crooks who get rich smuggling bizarre marine creatures.
Puget Sound is home to the geoduck (pronounced "gooey duck"), the world's largest burrowing clam--a seafood delicacy worth millions on the international black market. Outlaw scuba divers pursue this prize while dodging cops, committing arson, and hiring hit men to eliminate their rivals. Detective Ed Volz has spent decades chasing fish and wildlife smugglers. Now, he and a team of federal agents are desperate to take down the most remarkable thief they've ever hunted: a darkly charming con man who works both sides of the law and calls himself the "Geoduck Gotti."
This gorgeous deck of playing cards by author Dave Bosanko features detailed illustrations of 52 of the most common and sought-after fish species of the Midwest states, including the Walleye, Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass and more! Anyone who enjoys fishing will love having these playing cards for their favorite games and for quick I.D.
Sasol First Field Guide to Sharks, Whales and Dolphins of Southern Africa provides fascinating insight into the sea creatures of the region. With the help of full-colour photographs or illustrations, distribution maps, and easy-to-read text, the young adult and budding naturalist will be able to identify the more common shark, whale and dolphin species found in southern Africa, discover where they live, and learn about their unique feeding and breeding habits.
Make identifying freshwater fish easy and enjoyable. This field guide by Dave Bosanko features detailed information about 87 types of Georgia fish, and the book's waterproof pages make it perfect for the dock or boat. Identify your catches with the intricately detailed fish illustrations, and verify them using the -Similar Species- comparison features. Then read fascinating facts on spawning behavior, feeding habits and more. Plus, match up your best catches against the state and North American records. With inside information for locating fishing hotspots, this book is essential for every tackle box, beach bag, RV and cabin.
The Reef Guide documents some 800 reef fishes and invertebrates found along the east and south coasts of southern Africa.
Following on the success of Dennis King’s earlier two titles, this impressive new guide features 578 species of fish and includes sections on anemones, starfish, snails, crabs and shrimps.
Full-colour photographs and descriptive text for each species, along with useful and interesting information, make for easy identification. While focusing on southern Africa, the book is also applicable to the entire east coast of Africa, as well as the islands of the western Indian Ocean – Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, the Comoros and the Maldives.
Indispensable for divers, snorkelers and rock-pool enthusiasts, as well as fishermen and marine aquarists.
In Remarkable Shrimps, Raymond T. Bauer explores the evolution, natural history, biological diversity, and commercial importance of caridean shrimps--a fascinating and colorful group of aquatic organisms that inhabit freshwater and marine environments from the tropics to the poles.The biological diversity of carideans encompasses a remarkable array of adaptations in body form and function, coloration, breeding biology, and mating behavior. Carideans' important grooming and antifouling adaptations are examined in detail, and Bauer discusses the structural basis of their coloration, the role of color change in concealment, and other forms of camouflage. Reproductive biology and sexual systems, including hermaphroditism and sex change, are reviewed, and Bauer provides evidence for sex pheromones in the attraction of males to females. Seasonal, latitudinal, and depth variation in life history patterns are also analyzed. The symbiotic relationships of shrimps with invertebrates such as corals, sea anemones, and sea urchins and also with fishes are fascinating phenomena of marine ecosystems. Different views on the ancestry and evolutionary history of carideans are evaluated as a stimulus for further work. The status of caridean fisheries and aquaculture is appraised, and shrimp productivity is explained in terms of life history adaptations. Profiling each of the nearly thirty families of caridean shrimps, Bauer writes in an informal style that is nevertheless rich with precise and useful references. Over one hundred figures and 11 plates with 70 color and half-tone photographs accompany the text. Extensive fieldwork is showcased in life history studies on shrimps, employing both behavioral observations using time-lapse video and experimental work to test hypotheses on mating strategies.
Emperor: The Perfect Penguin is a celebration of one of the world's most charismatic creatures. In temperatures that can reach -50 Degrees C with 150km/h winds, the emperor penguins ability to survive and thrive is nothing short of astounding. Over the past nine years, award-winning photographer Sue Flood has journeyed to remote Antarctic penguin colonies to capture the birds in their native home. Sue Flood's respect for her subjects emanates from every page. From the poignant sight of an egg abandoned on the sea ice, to majestic shots of emperor penguins returning from the sea and heart-warming photos of chicks clustering together for warmth, every shot explores a new angle of life in this remote and ice-crusted world. As well as following the difficult journey of the penguins across the sea ice, Emperor: The Perfect Penguin narrates the hardships that must be endured to catch the perfect photograph. Sue's behind-the-scenes experiences prove that it is only with patience, endurance, and several thermal layers that one can capture magical moments on Earth's most inhospitable continent.
Filled with beautiful illustrations, "A Speyside Odyssey" details the fascinating life story of the Atlantic Salmon as it undertakes one of the most remarkable, and most deadly, journeys in nature. The story begins with conception in a remote highland burn, and follows the hazardous journey the salmon take through small tributaries, to the River Spey, and from the estuary on to distant oceanic feeding grounds. After gorging for one or more years on the prolific food sources of the North Atlantic, the odyssey draws to its conclusion as, with remarkable accuracy, the salmon complete the long journey home, to spawn in the burn of their origin. The salmon's life-cycle provides a unique background for a natural history of Speyside. As the year unfolds, the changing topography of the landscape and river, the details of bird and animal life, wild flowers and salmon fishing lore are brought to life in words and beautiful watercolour illustrations. "A Speyside Odyssey" is an emotive celebration of natural history in a breathtaking and captivatingly beautiful area of north-east Scotland.
Featuring more than 200 color photographs of species and habitats, this is the first comprehensive assessment of the fishes of the Middle Savannah River Basin (MSRB). Located along the Georgia-South Carolina border, the MSRB comprises the portion of the Savannah River drainage area located on the Upper Coastal Plain and edges of the Lower Coastal Plain. The book identifies and discusses 101 native and introduced species from 26 fish families - approximately 70 per cent of the native species in the entire Savannah River drainage area. Illustrated in color with photographs and a local distribution map, each species account describes the fish's appearance, meristic features, size, biology, habitat, conservation status, similarities to other species, and geographic range. The book also discusses the Savannah River, tributary streams, reservoirs, and ponds from the 1950s to the present showing ecological changes, detailed habitat descriptions, and associated fish assemblages.
For many people, seashells are just part of the beach scenery--thousands of pretty but nameless objects strewn along the shore. Other people know the names of shells but often wonder how they were formed and what type of animal lived inside. Such incidental knowledge may not seem important, but it can encourage people to observe their environment more closely and to gain a better understanding of it. As a result, they may become better fishers, more informed teachers or more conscientious stewards of our coast. To this end, the seashell guide was produced. Many collectors get started when they find an intriguing shell, perhaps after a storm, and search for it in a guide. Others, by chance, meet an experienced sheller on the beach. Talking with a collector passionate about shells is likely to spark an interest in anyone who has spent time at the coast. A walk down the beach is never the same once you begin to recognize a few shells. Gradually, you learn to use certain marks to solve the puzzle of shell identification. The walk becomes more satisfying as you recognize familiar shells like old friends, and it becomes more exciting as you look for new ones.
These natural history guides have been developed in the hope that young people and anyone with a budding interest in natural history will take up the challenge to learn the secrets of southern Africa's fascinating fauna and flora.
These little guides are an invaluable resource for the beginner, providing information at a glance through superb photographs, maps and easy-to-read text.
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