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Civilization and the Limpet by Martin John…

Civilization and the Limpet

by Martin John Wells

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0738200174, Hardcover)

Celebrated zoologist Martin Wells recorded his thoughts while on a Mediterranean sea voyage, and Civilization and the Limpet is the result. Written in charming, pithy prose, this collection of essays is eminently quotable, charmingly detailed, and wholly enlightening--worthy of shelf space next to Rachel Carson and Lewis Thomas. Wells chooses as his subjects many of the underdogs of the natural world--the species that humans find forgettable, incomprehensible, or even ugly. In essays about everything from sea urchins ("a sort of marine hedgehog") to limpets ("likely to suffer severe identity crises, brought about by its sex lives") to great white sharks ("probably bloody hungry"), Wells observes and reports on his favorite creatures with sympathy, admiration, and joy. His favorites are the cephalopods, which he calls "the jet set." Besides the essays on underappreciated animals, Wells tackles some big questions like the usefulness of science, entropy, and evolution. This is a wonderful collection that will make you want to slip on a pair of rubber boots and head out to the nearest tide pool. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

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Wells shares "many wonderful tales of marine life to uncover many strange, mysterious, and even dangerous survival strategies, all of them apt metaphors for the conflicts of our existence."--Jacket.

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