The Extreme Life of the Sea

Palumbi, Stephen R.

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Extreme Life of the Sea
Baker & Taylor
An exploration of the ocean's diverse life forms describes a dynamic cast of sea creatures that live in extreme environments and exhibit feats of size and speed, and examines how easily human actions can disrupt a complex ocean ecology.

Princeton University Press

The ocean teems with life that thrives under difficult situations in unusual environments.The Extreme Life of the Sea takes readers to the absolute limits of the ocean world--the fastest and deepest, the hottest and oldest creatures of the oceans. It dives into the icy Arctic and boiling hydrothermal vents--and exposes the eternal darkness of the deepest undersea trenches--to show how marine life thrives against the odds. This thrilling book brings to life the sea's most extreme species, and tells their stories as characters in the drama of the oceans. Coauthored by Stephen Palumbi, one of today's leading marine scientists, The Extreme Life of the Sea tells the unforgettable tales of some of the most marvelous life forms on Earth, and the challenges they overcome to survive. Modern science and a fluid narrative style give every reader a deep look at the lives of these species.

The Extreme Life of the Sea shows you the world's oldest living species. It describes how flying fish strain to escape their predators, how predatory deep-sea fish use red searchlights only they can see to find and attack food, and how, at the end of her life, a mother octopus dedicates herself to raising her batch of young. This wide-ranging and highly accessible book also shows how ocean adaptations can inspire innovative commercial products--such as fan blades modeled on the flippers of humpback whales--and how future extremes created by human changes to the oceans might push some of these amazing species over the edge.

Book News
A collaboration between a father-son team of a marine biologist and a novelist, this book is structured as an entertaining look at sea life for general readers. It follows the Internet trend of randomly gathering odd facts and interesting stories. The authors have designed the book to rely as much as possible (without being factually inaccurate) on sources available to general readers with Internet access, so that even when the stories rely on scientific papers not available to general readers, readers can still find out more for themselves. Unlike the web snippets the book's structure is modeled on, the writing explores the strategies of life behind each amazing story in more depth, and tells readers more about the creatures in question. The book is not designed to help readers understand either the history of science or the classification of organisms; it is organized by superlatives: oldest, biggest, coldest, strangest family lives, and so on. In addition to these, the book includes various interesting stories, such as the 100+ year old stone harpoon point an Inuit hunter recently found in a newly-killed whale. The whole context gives readers an introduction to fundamental ideas in biology, while keeping the focus on amazing stories and weird animals. The authors express the hope that a combination of skillful writing and accurate ?wow? factor will encourage readers to find out more, and care more, about the life of the sea. Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Princeton :, Princeton University Press,, [2014]
ISBN: 9780691149561
Branch Call Number: 591.77 P
Characteristics: pages cm
Additional Contributors: Palumbi, Anthony R. 1984-


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Palumbi, Stephen R.
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