Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone

Riverhead Books - She discovers that jellyfish science is more than just a quest for answers. Berwald's engaging account of these delicate, often ignored creatures shows how much they matter to our oceans' future. New york time book review jellyfish have been swimming in our oceans for well over half a billion years, longer than any other animal that lives on the planet.

They make a venom so toxic it can kill a human in three minutes. Driven by questions about how overfishing, and climate change were contributing to a jellyfish population explosion, coastal development, Juli embarked on a scientific odyssey. Their sting—microscopic spears that pierce with five million times the acceleration of gravity—is the fastest known motion in the animal kingdom.

Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone - . Is a significant part of the environmental story. Made of roughly 95 percent water, some jellies are barely perceptible virtuosos of disguise, while others glow with a luminescence that has revolutionized biotechnology. She traveled the globe to meet the biologists who devote their careers to jellies, raised jellyfish in her dining room, hitched rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, and throughout it all marveled at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders.

Yet until recently, jellyfish were largely ignored by science, and they remain among the most poorly understood of ocean dwellers. More than a decade ago, juli berwald left a career in ocean science to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas, but jellyfish drew her back to the sea.





Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods

ForeEdge - Some cephalopods then abandoned the shell entirely, fin-supplemented jet propulsion, which opened the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations: masterful camouflage, perhaps even dolphin-like intelligence. But when fish evolved jaws, the ocean’s former top predator became its most delicious snack.

Cephalopods had to step up their game. With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an undersea empire for millions of years. 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. Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming.

Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods - Many species streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, but these enhancements only provided a brief advantage. Before there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs. 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.

And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods―the ancestors of modern squid and Earth’s first truly substantial animals.





The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

Atria Books - 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. From new england aquarium tanks to the reefs of french Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, curious Kali, assertive Octavia, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, and joyful Karma.

Atria Books. 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, and profound, touching, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds. 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.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness - 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, intelligent, this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” Daily Beast book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, 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.





Jellyfish: A Natural History

University of Chicago Press - 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. Atria Books. Jellyfish, with their undulating umbrella-shaped bells and sprawling tentacles, are as fascinating and beautiful as they are frightening and dangerous.

Fifty unique species, position in the water, from stalked jellyfish to black sea nettles, history, are presented in stunning color photographs along with the most current scientific information on their anatomy, distribution, and environmental status. 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: A Natural History - Jellyfish presents these aquarium favorites in all their extraordinary and captivating beauty. Univ of Chicago Pr. 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. 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.





Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

Farrar, Straus and Giroux - In captivity, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, and make daring escapes. Univ of Chicago Pr. Taking an independent route, mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys.

As godfrey-smith stresses, it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba-diving adventures, Godfrey-Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the lineage.

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness - What can we learn from the encounter? in other minds, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, Peter Godfrey-Smith, tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being―how nature became aware of itself. How did the octopus, as they do in a unique location off the coast of australia?by tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, become so smart? What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually “think for themselves”? What happens when some octopuses abandon their hermit-like ways and congregate, a solitary creature with little social life, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind―and on our own.

The first nervous systems evolved, probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on, abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor, the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous mollusks, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so. As these primitive organisms became more entangled with others, they grew more complicated.

. Atria Books.





The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

William Morrow - Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China. An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come. Includes 75 images, world maps of the prehistoric earth, and a dinosaur family tree.

Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Now the rise and fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before. In this captivating narrative enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs,  Steve Brusatte, spectacular flourishing, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, cataclysmic extinction, astonishing diversity, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, and startling living legacy.

The story continues to the end of the cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species but not all died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction. Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World - Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages. Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T.





Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures

Viking - A palaeontological howdunnit…Spying on Whales captures the excitement of…seeking answers to deep questions in cetacean science. Nature   called “the best of science writing” Edward O. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection--yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet.

Atria Books. Univ of Chicago Pr. Wilson and named a best book by Popular Science, a dive into the secret lives of whales, from their four-legged past to their perilous present. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future--all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth.

He takes us deep inside the smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, and to the arid desert in Chile, to frigid Antarctic waters, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found. They evolved from land-roaming, 000 pounds, can grow to 300, breathe like us, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins.

Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures - Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea--and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, will whales survive?Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales.





What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux - Although there are more than thirty thousand species of fish―more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, feel, and amphibians combined―we rarely consider how individual fishes think, and behave. 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, through streams and estuaries, taking us under the sea, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes.

Scientific american. 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. 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.

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins - . 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.

They also plan, use tools, hunt cooperatively, deceive one another, curry favor, and punish wrongdoers. But, the truth is far richer and more complex, as Balcombe demonstrates, 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.





The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

Simon & Schuster - Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer HGT, or the movement of genes across species lines. Quammen is no ordinary writer. In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life.

Univ of Chicago Pr. Thanks to new technologies such as crISPR, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition—through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing. Atria Books. Scientific american. In the tangled tree david quammen, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about “mosaic” creatures proved to be true; and tsutomu wantanabe, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them—such as Carl Woese, “one of that rare breed of science journalists who blends exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling” Nature, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health.

The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life - He is simply astonishing, ingenuity, guts, humor, one of that rare class of writer gifted with verve, and great heart” Elle. Now, in the tangled tree, he explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life—including where we humans fit upon it.

. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection—a type of HGT.





Spineless

Harry N. Abrams - Atria Books. She also provides short essays that examine the place these invertebrates occupy on the tree of life, their vast array of forms, and their lives in the ocean. Abrams. Scientific american. Middleton’s book is a stunning new view of nature that harmoniously combines art and science. Univ of Chicago Pr.

In spineless, acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, which represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean. Scientist bernadette Holthuis contributes profiles describing each species, many of them for the first time.

Spineless - They are also astonishingly diverse in their shapes, textures, patterns, and colors—in nature’s fashion show, they are the haute couture of marine life. This collection of more than 250 remarkable images is the result of seven years of painstaking fieldwork across the Pacific Ocean, using photographic techniques that Middleton developed to capture these extremely fragile creatures on camera.





Underbug: An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology

Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux - Atria Books. Univ of Chicago Pr. The award-winning journalist lisa margonelli, national bestselling author of Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, investigates the environmental and economic impact termites inflict on human societies in this fascinating examination of one of nature’s most misunderstood insects.

Are we more like termites than we ever imagined? in underbug, the award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli introduces us to the enigmatic creatures that collectively outweigh human beings ten to one and consume $40 billion worth of valuable stuff annually―and yet, in Margonelli’s telling, seem weirdly familiar.

Underbug: An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology - Abrams. Her globe-trotting journey veers into uncharted territory, from evolutionary theory to Edwardian science literature to the military industrial complex. Scientific american. What begins as a natural history of the termite becomes a personal exploration of the unnatural future we’re building, technology, historical trauma, with darker observations on power, and the limits of human cognition.

Whether in namibia or cambridge, Arizona or Australia, Margonelli turns up astounding facts and raises provocative questions. Is a termite an individual or a unit of a superorganism? can we harness the termite’s properties to change the world? If we build termite-like swarming robots, will they inevitably destroy us? Is it possible to think without having a mind? Underbug burrows into these questions and many others―unearthing disquieting answers about the world’s most underrated insect and what it means to be human.

Over the course of a decade-long obsession with the little bugs, closely watching biologists, Margonelli pokes around termite mounds and high-tech research facilities, roboticists, and geneticists.