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Monarchs of the Sea: The Extraordinary…

Monarchs of the Sea: The Extraordinary 500-Million-Year History of… (original 2020; edition 2020)

by Danna Staaf (Author)

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192909,723 (4.25)2
Title:Monarchs of the Sea: The Extraordinary 500-Million-Year History of Cephalopods
Authors:Danna Staaf (Author)
Info:The Experiment (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:tpb, non-fiction, natural history, science, evolutionary biology, 5/21, 2021

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Monarchs of the Sea: The Extraordinary 500-Million-Year History of Cephalopods by Danna Staaf (2020)


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A delightfully nerdy expression of the author’s love of cephalopods both ancient and modern, but mostly ancient. With funny asides referencing Douglas Adams, Monty Python and other geeky humor, she not only gives an overview of each age of the cephalopod, but also current views and how science is changing the picture of creatures that hardly leave any evidence behind. Good illustrations and photos throughout. From ammonoids (named for an ancient god) to nautiloids, squids, cuttlefish & octopuses (and she corrects the correction of our plural form right off the bat), the history and near extinctions of cephalopods is interesting and a triumph of evolution.

And speaking of evolution, I love the idea that squid lost their shells as a possible reaction to whales’ developing sonar. Because squid mostly dwell deep in open oceans and early whale hunting was dependent on eyesight, whales just flat couldn’t see their prey. Just how echolocation came to be isn’t greatly explored, but it’s a neat idea that because it could easily detect hard surfaces like cephalopod shells, losing those shells as quickly as possible was pretty important. Why else lose such an effective defense mechanism? ( )
  Bookmarque | May 4, 2021 |
An EXCELLENT and engaging book about some of the most awesome creatures in the oceans. AND, it's very accessibly written! ( )
  cr0nePunk | Apr 24, 2021 |
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