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Octopus: The Ocean's Intelligent Invertebrate Hardcover – May 21, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; First American Edition edition (May 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604690674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604690675
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[The authors] authoritatively describe all the attributes of this fascinating creature."

About the Author

Roland C. Anderson, a former biologist at the Seattle Aquarium, has observed octopuses in captivity and in the wild for more than 30 years. He is particularly interested in the natural history, behavior, and aquarium husbandry of marine invertebrates and especially the cold water cephalopods of Puget Sound, about which he has published numerous articles. The son of a sea captain, he grew up near the ocean where he became an avid scuba diver. He retired from the Seattle Aquarium in 2009 after 31 years of service. Long fascinated by malacology (the study of mollusks), he has served as president for the Western Society of Malacologists and the American Malacological Society. He is currently an editor for the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. He received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Greenwich University (Hilo, HI) in 2000.


Jennifer A. Mather is a leading researcher on octopuses, concentrating on their behavior and personalities. She has been publishing articles on cephalopods since 1978. At the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, where she is a professor of psychology, she teaches a variety of courses including studies of aging and perception. Jennifer grew up in Victoria, on the Pacific coast of Canada, where she acquired her lifelong fascination with cephalopods. She prefers to do field research, and has done so in a variety of pleasant locations including Bermuda, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Besides the comparative study of behavior and cognition, she is interested in the roles and status of women in science and in excellence in university teaching. Jennifer holds a Master’s degree from Florida State University and a doctorate from Brandeis University in Boston. When not working, she’s a dedicated bird watcher and energetic cook and gardener.


James B. Wood is the director of education at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. An accomplished underwater photographer, he is especially interested in cephalopod behavior, husbandry, and physiology, and science education. Webmaster of The Cephalopod Page (www.thecephalopodpage.org), one of the longest running biological Web sites, James is a founding executive member of MarineBio.org and a staff member of TONMO.com, an online cephalopod enthusiast community. He has worked with the Census of Marine Life since 1998 and codeveloped a pilot species database for cephalopods, CephBase. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology at Dalhousie University. He was previously an assistant research scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and an adjunct professor at Duke University.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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The problem with the book is that it suffers from poor editing.
Scott Atwood
I found this book to be highly informative, easy to read, entertaining and very enlightening.
Matizverde
The next best thing is to visit them in reputable aquariums and to savor this book.
Ruth Yeomans

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Joseph R. Calamia on June 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Octopus"; The Ocean's Intelligent Invertebrate (A Natural History) by Mather, Anderson, and Wood is an extremely informative encapsulated history of perhaps, one of the most least understood, least appreciated, and yet most interesting animals in this world. Here then is an animal with three hearts, eight legs, and a cognitive mental capacity and personality to rival some of the more common mammals.

The authors of this book take the reader through the tragically short life span of an Octopus from the egg to the adult. The writers also maintained an aura of scientific study and terminology, but had the common sense to utilize a layman's "story quality" style of writing so that... even the "scientific challenged" like me could understand exactly what was being stated.

If you have an interest in oceanography, wildlife, and nature, then I can guarantee... you will not be disappointed with this book! In addition there are some 38 magnificent color photographs of various octopuses to "stoke the embers" of the readers interest in the subject matter held at arms length (all eight of them)!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Octopus: The Ocean's Intelligent Invertebrate provides an excellent nature history of the octopus, pairing lovely photos with the insights of three leading marine biologists to offer general readers an easy introduction to octopus natural history. From its evolution and history to its anatomy, behaviors and more, this offers the first in-depth, dedicated natural history of the octopus and is a pick for any general science or lending library's collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By WarriorDiva on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
....with Octopus, this book is for you. As a National Zoo volunteer, I have the wonderful oppportunity to help feed and discuss a Giant Pacific Octopus and this book has really helped step up my knowledge about these wonderful creatures. Written in plain english, it leaves out most of the scientific jargon while still educating the reader. The contributors first hand knowledge, from observing and keeping Octopus is a valuable resource and a fascinating read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Yeomans on May 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is worth the price for the photos alone, and is worth the price for the text alone. All three authors are recognized experts in their fields. The writing is entertaining, without talking down to well-educated readers. How I would love to be a scuba diver so I could visit these amazing creatures in their natural homes! The next best thing is to visit them in reputable aquariums and to savor this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Shaw on March 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent coverage of the latest research on the Octopus. Written in a manner that makes it accessible to the layperson. The sad thing about the book is that the author (Roland C. Anderson) passed away unexpectedly this year.

Highly Recommended
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Beatman on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As mentioned in one other review, the editing in this book is rather lackluster, and you can tell that each chapter consists of chunks of information and/or anecdotes from each of the three authors as they often tread redundantly upon common ground, a commonly recurring problem, as this repetition has not been ameliorated in editing. However, for the layman who wants to learn about these animals, this book is a fair resource, although by far one of the best books of this type is Frank Lane's Kingdom of the Octopus : The Life History of the Cephalopoda, which if not for it's outdated publishing (no new editions have been published in any recent time), would render this book and others like it entirely obsolete.

As such this book utterly fails as a resource for other scientists, either those working in this field, or others who are interested in more in-depth information. This book consists almost entirely of anecdotes and basic information, without any meaningful references or figures which would be of value to the scienftific community (although I make no presumption that this was the intent of the authors). With the exception of Lane's book, the field of study concerning cephalopods, or at the very least the octopus, is sorely lacking a definitive reference text like that Foelix's Biology of Spiders provides for arachnologists studying spiders, and this book clearly is not intended to try and fulfill this purpose.

For those interested in a more scientific text, which is still rather accessible, try Cephalopod Behaviour, although it's price will likely preclude access by nonmembers of the academic community.
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By Matizverde on January 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book gave me much information about octopuses (it's a Greek word not a Latin one) plus a lot on other sea creatures. I felt like I was in a classroom learning all about octopuses (but no exams or quizzes) from excellent teachers who explained in clear language how the critter is composed, how it eats, where it lives. There are plenty of entertaining stories such as the one about the vet who discovered their suckers are as agile as our thumb-finger arrangement. I found this book to be highly informative, easy to read, entertaining and very enlightening. But I still think octopuses are very ugly.
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By kayaklady on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best information on the octopus that I know of! Buy this book and you will see that no other compares.
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