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Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures From the Census of Marine Life Hardcover – Sep 14 2010
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"Citizens of the Sea is not a book to be read alone. It is packed with facts and photographs that are so cool, so bizarre, and so downright amazing that you'll want to make sure you have some willing company to share them with.[…] Although you may find yourself reading Citizens of the Seacover-to-cover regardless of your intentions, its gorgeous photos, one-page stories, and "fast fact" boxes also lend themselves to coffee table perusal. The book would be an excellent vehicle for inspiring older children to get excited about the ocean, but I would particularly recommend it for adults who want to rekindle their childlike wonder. Just don't read it alone!" —Joanna Solins, CORAL Communications Associate
"Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures from the Census of Marine Life by Nancy Knowlton is a new National Geographic production, and the perfect book for curling up with on a cloudy afternoon with a big pot of tea. The photos, of course, are mind blowing, and Nancy's accompanying text is bright, fun to read, and chock full of the "beauty, weirdness, and wonder of the sea." Nancy is a serious scientist known for her work discovering new corals and figuring out new ways of classifying them. Increasingly, she has turned her attention to helping others understand the ocean's wonders — "as its citizens have no vote in any international body, but they need to be heard." This book is a unique combination of photos and substance." —Nancy Baron, Author of Escape from the Ivory Tower and Ocean Science Outreach Director for SeaWeb and COMPASS
“Citizens of the Sea,” is a dazzling collection of photographs of undersea creatures, with commentary by Nancy Knowlton, a marine scientist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and a leader of the census effort. The book’s goal is to introduce readers to the plants and animals that inhabit the marine world — from Antarctic ice to more than six miles down, near the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest spot on the ocean floor. In its pages we encounter creatures both familiar and strange. Most will enjoy it as a journey through what remains a largely alien landscape filled with beautiful and often bizarre creatures." —Cornelia Dean, "Getting to Know Your Neighbors Below the Surface," The New York Times Science Section
The Census of Marine Life, a decade-long project encompassing more than 2,700 scientists across the world, sought to answer a basic but daunting question: What lives in the ocean? The census revealed thousands of new species. National Geographic's new book "Citizens of the Sea", captures many of them.—Washington Post
“Beautifully illustrated…an eye-opening introduction to the life in the sea that surrounds us.”
About the Author
Nancy Knowlton is the Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and a scientific leader of the Census of Marine Life. She founded the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California, San Diego. Knowlton has devoted her life to studying, celebrating, and striving to protect the multitude of life-forms that call the sea home. She lives with her family in Washington, D.C.
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Superficially, it looks like another pretty coffee table book of sea creatures that sits on your coffee table for a while as visitors occasionally flip through the photos. But when you take the time to sit down and digest the text, you realize the greatest strength of the book is the writing that supports the stunning photos. Dr. Knowlton (who is a long time friend) has dug up soooo many tidbits in support of the images that it almost reads like a trivia book. Everything from the fact that there are waaaay more bacteria in the ocean than stars in the sky, to defensive "rosettes" of spiny lobsters and whales, to the awesome Bob Marley Worm -- the book is packed with memorable details.
I once went to a diving trade show where they had slide show presentations from sport divers. One after another they got up and showed amazing underwater photos of fish and corals they had taken. The only problem was they had no idea of what was in the photos. So the audience -- hundreds of people -- just sat there in dead silence, cooing over the images, but having no clue of what they were seeing. This book is the opposite of that. For each photo, not only is your question of, "What's that?" answered, you also get stories and factoids about the creatures that will make you realize it is far more than just another coffee table adornment. It's a book that will give you a warm and loving introduction to the citizens who inhabit the sea!