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The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes: Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and Seals Paperback – November 1, 2010


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The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes: Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and Seals + Hawaii's Sea Creatures: A Guide to Hawaii's Marine Invertebrates, Revised Edition + Reef Fish Hawaii: Waterproof Pocket Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mutual Publishing; 1st edition. 3rd printing (revised) edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566478871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566478878
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This comprehensive guide to Hawaii's marine vertebrate animals is based on my bestselling book Hawaii's Fishes, a Guide for Snorkelers and Divers. Although Hawaii's Fishes remains in print and continues to satisfy the basic needs of fish watchers in the Islands, I have long wanted to create a larger, more complete reference for the serious underwater naturalist. There is so much more to say! Almost daily I get questions from readers who are seeing species not included in the original book, or who want information on marine mammals, or strange fish behaviors they have observed.



To satisfy these advanced snorkelers and divers--and those who want to be--I have added over a hundred rare and unusual fish species to the original book (for a total of 386--far more than any other popular guide), plus hundreds of extra photos showing all kinds of color variations and interesting behaviors, fascinating first-hand accounts of encounters with marine ani­mals, new chapters on Hawai`i's whales, dolphins, seals, sea turtles and sea snakes, and a wealth of information on how all these animals eat, live, and reproduce.

From the Back Cover

The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes, Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and Seals features more pictures, more stories, and more species than any other softcover field guide. Clear underwater photos and scientifically up-to-date descriptions make it easy and fun to identify 386 Hawaiian reef and shore fishes. The ten whale, dolphin, and turtle species seen most often in Hawai`i are included too. Indispensible for snorkelers, divers, teachers, students, and anyone else interested in the sea, this is the ultimate identification book for Hawaiian marine vertebrate animals.


But there's more. It is also a gold mine of behavioral information, legends, trivia, and fun facts. Have you ever wondered why spinner dolphins spin? Or how manta rays mate? (see pages 373 and 235) What does it feel like to be stung by a lionfish? (see page 250) Or attacked by a shark! (see page 267) Do you know the smartest fish on the reef? Or why eels tie themselves in knots? (see pages 114 and 196)

Crammed with stories, picture galleries, sidebars, and 965 full-color photographs, this book takes the concept of a fish identification guide to a whole new level. Enjoy!

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Really!...this book is just plain fun to read.
liberal warrior
This book also includes multiple photos of many of the species.
fish illustrator lucid-hawaii.com
A perfect guide for snorkelers and divers in Hawaii.
Joaquin Monco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Sills on November 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For many years, there have been two excellent guides to the fishes of Hawaii -- "Hawaii's Fishes" (by John P. Hoover) and "Shore Fishes of Hawai'i" (by John E. Randall). These are invaluable to divers and snorkelers; unlike other less complete books, they document virtually every fish that you'll ever see in Hawaii.

In this new book, "The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes", Hoover has really outdone himself. Some species are illustrated with multiple photographs -- for instance, six photos of the Undulated Moray eel, including color variations and a young specimen. The other books have photos of three or five species of flounders and soles, but this one has photos of eight species. Since most of these are uncommon, this completeness could be confusing to beginners, but it's great for more advanced fish-watchers.

Most fish ID books are somewhat dry -- a series of photographs, each accompanied by a brief description of the fish's appearance and behavior. This book has that information, but what really sets it apart is the many sidebars with information that will be interesting to both beginners and experts -- e.g., cooperative hunting between peacock groupers and moray eels, the feeding habits of eagle rays, and the dangers of stroking a porcupinefish or eating pufferfish. The book is full of interesting anecdotes that you won't find in other books.

Even the "dry" descriptions are a bit more informative than those in other books. For instance, the description of Thompson's Butterflyfish mentions that it often aggregates with Thompson's Surgeonfish. The latter is a very nondescript fish, but this description will help you find and identify it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rick J. Long on January 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
With internet notification of this new book, we began searching the book stores on Maui for copies. I eventually ordered it direct from the author, hoping it would be just as useful as his previous fish and invertebrate identification books. Yes, it meets my expectations with beautiful photographs and species descriptions, and adds "talk story". I'm in the ocean several times a week for reef surveys, and John Hoover's books are a comfortable companion. For correct species identification, we learn first hand from local fish experts. But, we have to study the photograph's in John Hoover's books, along with other sources. The Ultimate Guide goes beyond a single photo of a single fish for each species. He has added photos of their behaviors and story boxes, to teach the reader there is more to fish identification than colors and shapes. The story boxes are in the Hawaiian style of "talk story". For visitors to the scuba and snorkel sites around the Hawaiian Islands, they will find the addition of sea turtles, sea snakes, and marine mammals a bonus feature. This is the first book you will pick up to identify near shore reef fish. Beginners and experts will find the book useful. I find it useful and fun to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By fish illustrator lucid-hawaii.com on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
There are quite a few books out there on Hawaii's reef fishes, but Hoover is one of the top authors. The photos in this books are spectacular and the number of species included is unparalleled. This is the underwater guide you don't want to be without especially if you are on a dive trip to Hawaii. Great for academic research, or just the casual marine enthusiast. I use all of Hoover's books on a weekly basis and I'm a marine biologist...but it's great to have references like his with great pictures for comparison of different species and to explain something to the lay person with pictures. This book also includes multiple photos of many of the species. The value of this is that there are often many different color morphs, and the juveniles, females and males may differ in color. The descriptions are accurate and helpful, both for identification and coloration as well as more technical biological information, behavior and feeding habits. If you are a diver or marine enthusiast. This is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Rhinehart on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
My new husband and I used this book to help us identify the turtles and the incredible variety of fish we photographed on our big island honeymoon. The book has quite a bit of detailed scientific information, but still was very helpful and easy to use. We had started out with a different book called Hawaiian Reef Fish written by Astrid Witte and Casey Mahaney, but we were noticing that too many of the photographs in that earlier book were so dark or poor, we could not see the features well enough to help us identify the fish in our own photographs. We also had too many photos that looked nothing like any of the limited species in that book. That other book was a helpful starting place, but we were left with too many unknowns.

Hoover's book is much thicker, has many more species in it, and often includes multiple photographs for a single species. This is enormously helpful for the many cases where the male and female of a species look very different, and where the juveniles do not look like either parent. We learned also that many fish can change their coloring, and this book has photos showing those variations too.

We also liked the extra information provided at the beginning of each subsection of fish. We found the extra stories and information fascinating, and the warnings about certain fish helpful. We are strictly amateurs in photography and biology, but we still found the book's organization and content understandable.

This book might be a bit bulky to fit in your suitcase for the trip itself, but we think it is fantastic for identifying your fish photos when you get home. My husband and I very highly recommend this outstanding book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Hi,

Thanks for stopping by. In a nutshell, I'm a retired librarian who majored in English and loves diving and photography. Combine those four and how can you not get fish books? How many fish books have I written? Perhaps too many, but it's rewarding and fun, so why not? My latest project has been an iPad app called Fish ID Hawaii. It covers 324 fish species browsable by shape, color, family, scientific name and Hawaiian name. It includes video for each fish, plus 980+ still photos. Find it in the App Store.

For many years my wife Marcia and I lived in Honolulu. In 2007 we both retired to the village of Volcano, on the Island of Hawaii, where we live just 3 miles from one of the world's most active volcanoes. I still do a lot of diving and underwater photography. Oh, and hiking too. Visit my website at

http://hawaiisfishes.com

Or, even better, if you want to see what I'm up to these days, check out my Picasa gallery

http://picasaweb.com/jphoover

Aloha,

John


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