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Weird Sea Creatures Hardcover – March 14, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 12
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (March 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770851976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770851979
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Fangs, "fur," and photophores abound in this colorful celebration of decidedly odd and recently discovered species. Through 50 gorgeous photos, readers are introduced to a yeti crab; a spined pigmy shark; Dumbo, the octopod; and many other deep-sea dwellers. A carefully constructed introduction presents the physical characteristics of the abyssal ocean-its cold darkness, its cruel pressure-and of the difficulties in finding, collecting, and photographing the creatures that call it home. Also included are explanations of the function of chromophores and photophores and the little that is known about the "language of light"' of abyssal animals. Following those informative pages is an album of rare beauty. Stunning full-page photos give readers a rare close-up view of animals ranging in size from a 1/24 inch oikopleura squirt to a six-foot-long orangeback flying squid, each accompanied by a brief informative paragraph. For those who have enjoyed Sneed B. Collard's The Deep-Sea Floor (Charlesbridge, 2003), this is a veritable book of revelations. A feast for the eye and a tickle for the mind.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This unusual book showcases riveting photos of rarely seen and recently discovered deep-sea animals. Brightly lit, clearly delineated, and often highly magnified, their colorful and sometimes bizarre or even horrific forms seem to glow against the stark, black backgrounds. Each creature is identified and discussed in a small-print paragraph that might (or might not) comment on matters such as its size, distinctive features, behavior, habitat, and locale. It would have been helpful if the size, at least, were consistently noted. A marine researcher and conservationist, Hoyt contributes a fascinating introduction discussing conditions in the deep ocean, where typical conditions include extreme cold, pressure, and darkness, and some of the animals use echolocation or bioluminescence for survival. He also explains how photographers captured the remarkable images. Although his descriptions of the creatures, their habitats, and the process of photographing them will be more accessible to older children and adults, the dramatic photos will attract a very broad audience. Grades 4-8. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

I am an author of books on wildlife and science for adults and kids; I like to tell a story that hasn't been told using my own style of narrative nonfiction. I am also a researcher and lecturer (working in Japan, Russia and many other countries). I like exploring new frontiers, trying new things...I have been very fortunate to work with various dolphin and whale species in many countries, as well as ants in the tropical rain forest.

My first book, Orca: The Whale Called Killer, tells the story of seven summers I spent living among three big "families" or pods of killer whales (orcas) off northern Vancouver Island, Canada.

My newest book is Weird Sea Creatures (March 2013) for age 12 to adult featuring state-of-the-art photographs of the latest amazing deep sea animals, many of them only discovered in the past couple years and some still un-named.

My previous books include: Seasons of the Whale, recently published in an updated ebook edition. In this book I follow several known humpback, right and blue whales through a momentous year in their lives -- a true story of the year that the North Atlantic Ocean began to "talk back" to those who cared about it as well as to those who didn't.

In The Earth Dwellers, I get down to a few centimeters off the ground and trace several years in the lives of a colony of leafcutter ants and the scientists who study them in Costa Rica. In alternative chapters, I weave the story of the ants and the story of the scientists -- two well known entomologists (insect scientists), EO Wilson from Harvard and Bill Brown from Cornell who trade arguments, jokes and banter in their pursuit of the big find.

I loved researching and writing Creatures of the Deep, with its literary, historical, mythical and actual journeys to the bottom of the sea as well as along the world's longest mountain range (underwater) and starting from the tiniest organisms up the long food chain to the top predators. It's a story of a dark, high pressure, unexplored world and bizarre, little known creatures that communicate by touch, flashing lights and who knows what else.

These books are for adults but variously enjoyed by young adults and older kids. I have also written four other books just for kids.

As a working scientist and conservationist, I also write scientific papers, reports and books such as Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. A world handbook for cetacean habitat conservation and planning (Taylor & Francis, London & New York, 2011). I am Senior Research Fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission - Cetacean Specialist Group and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. I also help direct the Far East Russia Orca Project, a long-term project with Russian scientists to understand the killer whales in the vast Russian waters.

I enjoy giving talks and illustrated presentations. In the past few years, I have been invited to speak in the UK, France, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, the US, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Monaco, Argentina and Chile. I especially enjoyed working in Japan giving simulated whale watch presentations at the 2005 World Expo (theme: nature's wonders) and at the World Whale Watching Conference and the Symposium: New Tales about Whales in Science, Society & Art, at the UN University, Tokyo, Dec 2010. My other talks are about "my life with orcas", creating marine reserves, "from ants to whales", and the future of marine conservation, "creatures of the deep", and the best dolphin and whale watching around the world. I also give talks on writing popular science with a story: narrative nonfiction, and on preparing book proposals that sell.

Please see my web sites and

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
I can't find anymore books from this author like this one.
Robyn Elam
A common nudibranch could inspire all sorts of science fiction, and the colors and comedy of a mantis shrimp could inspire a series of childrens' books.
Joni Lawrence
It is this complex and dazzlingly beautiful language of light that is used in the depths.
Alexander Mathews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joni Lawrence on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
One of my favorite things about the ocean is that it never ceases to surprise and amaze me with the weirdness of its critters. A common nudibranch could inspire all sorts of science fiction, and the colors and comedy of a mantis shrimp could inspire a series of childrens' books.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society Research Fellow and MarineBio Director of Cetaceans, Erich Hoyt, has published a new volume featuring stunning photos and facts about 50 of the ocean's weirdest creatures from the deepest parts of the sea.

Have you ever wondered what lurks in the depths of the ocean? Do you imagine a vast lifeless landscape? If you do, you're wrong! There's the gorgeously stunning hydromedusan jellyfish whose bright red tentacles trail along the sea floor at 8,000+ feet deep trawling for prey. It's dark down there so deep-sea dragonfish carry a built-in lantern to illuminate the blackness in search of prey. Vampire squid find their victims using their gigantic eyes. These and other creatures have evolved adaptations to the darkness such as large eyes or light producing chemicals. They can communicate using echolocation to avoid revealing their location to predators.

The stunning photographs in the book were taken by David Shale, Solvin Zanki and Jeff Rotman who worked cruised across the ocean to capture and photograph these crazy creatures of the deep. They were brought up using a net and transferred to temperature controlled aquariums on board. Thanks to their work and to Erich Hoyt's compilation of facts and information readers can delve into the deep from their armchair.
I highly recommend this book for anyone fascinated by marine life. I've particularly enjoyed sharing this with children who love learning about the wacky wildlife of the sea and why we need to protect it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryant P Austin on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Weird Sea Creatures brings to light amazing and haunting forms of life found in the great depths of the world's oceans. Old memories from my childhood where brought to the surface as I looked through the pages. I remembered all of the old illustrations of these creatures: the angler fish, the deep-sea dragonfish, the fangtooth and many more that stirred my imagination as a youngster. Now in the 21st century, they are wonderfully portrayed in vivid color and as they really are. I have no doubt that this book will stir imagination and wonder from the next generation of marine biologists, explorers, and artists.
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Format: Hardcover
In an introductory note, the author of Weird Sea Creatures expresses some misgivings about the use of the term "weird" in the title, pointing out that, like beauty, weird is in the eye of the beholder, and may only superficially apply to the deep-sea denizens profiled in these pages.

It's a point well taken, for after poring over the spectacular images in this book, and reading Hoyt's fascinating text, I felt a growing fondness for the creatures on display here, and they didn't seem quite so "weird" after all.

That said, the life-forms featured in Weird Sea Creatures are truly alien in every sense of the word, in all their beautiful and bizarre manifestations, the result of millions of years of adaptation to the most extreme environment on Earth.

It's extraordinary to realize that deep-sea habitats teem with life, and that in these inaccessible, largely unknown regions where creatures can be subject to pressures as much as two tons per square inch, a cavalcade of exotic life-forms swims through a realm so unremittingly dark that they must generate their own light in order to survive. They do this by means of bioluminescence, using light-producing organs called photophores, in conjunction with pigment cells called chromatophores, to attract prey, camouflage themselves from predators, and communicate with other members of their species. It is this complex and dazzlingly beautiful language of light that is used in the depths.
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