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Ocean: The World's Last Wilderness Revealed Paperback – July 21, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0756636920 ISBN-10: 0756636922 Edition: Reprint

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Too often we take for granted the ways oceans enrich our lives. Thankfully, this magnificent volume encourages eyes, mind, and spirit to attend more closely to this fragile otherworld. Opening with a minicourse in oceanography, covering circulation, climate, tides, and waves, the authors continue with details of ocean environments, from coasts and seashores to shallow seas, the open ocean, and polar waters. They also similarly describe the richly varied forms of underwater life, from bacteria to mammals, all the while exploring the earth history lesson embodied in the ocean's geography. Crafted by devoted scientists and visual artists, Ocean offers page after page of stunning images and vital information about the very heartbeat of planet Earth. Pamela Crossland
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"...the definitive reference for the entire family" -- Bookpage

"...the ultimate informational book on the ocean -- its behavior, inhabitants, drama and beauty around the world." -- Good Morning America, December 21, 2006 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: DK; Reprint edition (July 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756636922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756636920
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Dinwiddie specialises in writing or contributing to educational illustrated books on scientific topics for a general audience. His particular areas of interest include Earth and Ocean Science, Astrophysics and Cosmology, and the History of Science. In the past he has also been involved in IT and medical publishing.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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My nephew is 14, and he loved the book for his birthday.
Tabitha Harris
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in all aspects of ocean life and how oceans affect our lives.
Magic Dancer
Beautiful pictures, detailed descriptions, and a real abundance of information.
By the sea

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Huge" means coffee table size, and roughly 500 pages. That's almost six pounds of enjoyable reading - if you decide to read it, rather than just letting the magnificent imagery wash over you. That's how the book starts, by the way. Page after page of full-page, full-color photos, including some two-page spreads, before you even get to the introduction.

It gets off to a slightly slow start, with a quick review of just what seawater is, chemically, and why that matters. Geology and meterology come next, the rocky basin that holds the sea and the air above it. In both cases, land and sky, the ocean shapes them as much as they shape the ocean. This discussion includes things as important as El Niño and hurricane Katrina. Although wide-ranging and informative, vivid illustrations and photos keep it lively and personal. The first 200 pages or so continue the discussion of the polar icecaps, shores, underwater geography, and the rest of the ocean itself.

Then the discussion turns to oceanic life. Historical life start it off, from the age of dinosaurs. The authors then move into the plankton, clearly distinguishing the bacteria from archaea, and both from the eukaryotic protists and diatoms. Next comes plant life in and near the ocean, including aquatic algae and shoreline plants, lichens, and fungi. These sections set the pattern, clearly identifying several levels of taxa to which specimen belongs, its worldwide distribution, gorgeous pictures, and a paragraph or two. Discussion varies, sometimes highlighting distinctive parts of an organism's life cyle, special relationships, or the scientists who've done most to uncover and spread this wonderful knowledge.

It's the section on animals that young readers will be most drawn to.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amy Y. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most beautiful boks I've purchased in a long time. I was a little skeptical, so many of these big "coffee table" books end up collecting dust or eventually taking the long ride in the trunk to the thrift store drop.

You'll have to pry this book out of my cold, dead hands.

The photographs are beautiful and amazing. I've been diving and this captures that same "Wow!" factor that you wish you could take back with you when you resurface. I got this book because my daughter was studying ocean life for school. I could hardly put the thing down. It sucks you in with tales from the deep and the amazing lives of the creatures who live there.

Mch of the text is very informative but also well written. My daugher and I have enjoyed pouring over it, sometimes reading, sometimes just looking at all the amazing photographs.

Yes, it's big enough that it could actually just replace your coffee table altogether. Still, it's just that many more wonderful images and fascinating tidbits about the ocean. I'd definately say this book is worth the space it will take up on your coffee table or bookshelf.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
By National Research Council Ocean Studies Board

This huge book is divided into four major sections:

Introduction -- covering such things as the properties of water that make the ocean what it is, the geology, circulation, climate, tides and waves. These are properties that apply to all oceans.

Ocean Environments -- broken down by areas such as depth, temperature, the sea floor.

Ocean Life -- subdivided into two sections that cover first the ecology of marine life, followed by a breakdown of the plant and animal life in considerable detail.

Atlas of the oceans -- includes maps of all the oceans as well as additional maps showing things like current flow, depths, undersea features, the seas around the oceans, basically everything there is to know.

This is a beautifully illustrated huge book. Over 500 pages, 10 x 12 inches. It's a great book to read with a youngster on your lap just looking at the pictures of weird life.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Kaye on October 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is not a typical "coffee table" book. Although full of beautiful photographs, there is equal emphasis on educational text. Instead of being a book containing only full-page photos of ocean life, each page is a collage of wonderful photos and short articles that you will want to read. The publisher of this book (DK), offers a variety of books in this format (travel, etc), and the layout of this book is similar. That is not to knock the photos at all - they are great and some are full-page, but this book isn't page after page of full-page photos as some others are.

That said, this is an excellent educational text with so much interesting information to offer. (It made me want to read the book cover-to-cover, which would probably keep me busy for at least a few days!)

The four main sections of the book include:

Ocean Environments
Ocean Life
Atlas of the Oceans

The Introduction section takes a scientific look at the earth. A sampling of the topics of this section include "The Evolution of the Oceans", "Tectonics and the Ocean Floor", "Hurricanes", and "El Nino and La Nina". Mixed in with the photos are a number of color drawings and graphs to help the reader understand the concepts.

The section on Ocean Environments includes articles on specific places like San Francisco Bay and Hardanger Fjord as well as general information on habitats such as Salt Marshes, Mangrove Swamps and Rocky Sea Beds. The pages are full of photos of the areas as well as typical species found there.

The largest section is on Ocean Life and focuses on the variety of creatures found in the sea.
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