Customer Reviews: Chased By Sea Monsters
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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on March 9, 2004
Nothing, not the carnivorous dinosaurs of the past, nor the imagined sea serpents and monsters of maritime history, nor the great white shark, salt water crocodile, killer whale and leopard seal of today can compare to the horrifying hunters of the prehistoric oceans. You will feel a lot more comfortable about going out for a swim or an afternoon boat ride knowing that such behemoths are extinct today!
The Dunkleosteus is school bus-sized armored fish with razor sharp bladed jaws for cutting through anything in its path. The mighty Liopleurodon is a true monster, largest and most powerful of the Pliosaurs. The deadly Mosasaurs where the real sea serpents of their day, and some where large enough to dispatch an adult tyrannosaur easily. The Basilosaurus, the first of the large whale species, is not a harmless plankton eater but a fearsome high speed hunter. And most frightening of all is the Megalodon, a gargantuan ancestor of the great white that makes its modern day relative look like a tuna.
If you're a paleontology buff like me or a fan of BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs series, this book is for you. The digital designs of the monsters are excellent and very well realized. And the fun-loving Nigel Marvin provides a great narrative. My only question is when does the DVD of the series come out?
Another excellent book is Sea Dragons by Richard Ellis.
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Chased By Sea Monsters - Prehistoric Predators of the Deep is the companion book to the BBC series of the same name. As in the programs, Nigel Marven is the presenter, taking us on a journey through the 7 deadliest seas of all time.

There are many photos from the series, and also plenty of new ones. Wonderful recreations of all the prehistoric creatures, they look completely real (even in the ones where Nigel is interacting with them, even holding them).

The book is written by both Nigel Marven and Jasper James. They split up the book about 50/50, although I must say it is hard to tell one from the other, so the book still flows smoothly.

The book follows the series very closely, but there are a few differences. In the series, Nigel goes through the seven deadliest seas, starting from the least and working his way up. In the book it's not the opposite, but still very different. The first chapter starts with the oldest ocean and works up to the most recent, instead of the most dangerous. I would have preferred they follow the series order, but it's only a minor complaint. Here is the books' content order; (also included are the authors of each chapter)

Foreword - Nigel Marven

Introduction - Jasper James

1. THE ORDOVICIAN - Jasper James

2. THE DEVONIAN - Nigel Marven

3. THE TRIASSIC - Nigel Marven

4. THE JURASSIC - Jasper James

5. THE CRETACEOUS - Jasper James

6. THE EOCENE - Nigel Marven

7. THE PLIOCENE - Nigel Marven

This is a very good book, and is a perfect companion to "Chased By Sea Monsters", highly recommended!
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on April 3, 2004
This gorgeous presentation explores the prehistoric world in search of sea-based monsters and is published to coincide with the BBC program of the same name; but familiarity with the TV show is not required for a separate appreciation of this book. More than just another dinosaur guide, Chased By Sea Monsters focuses on life in ancient oceans during each prehistoric period, providing a fine focus on evolutionary proceedings.
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on January 13, 2006
Written as a companion to the BBC television documentary series, this beautiful book takes the reader on an illustrated journey thru the prehistoric oceans. The book highlights seven different time periods (in seven different chapters) in the Earth's past, and shows the sea creatures living at those times; emphasizing those with the biggest jaws and their respective prey.

In each chapter, the book examines the physiology, anatomy, habitat, and probably lifestyle of the top predators. Each chapter also shows what is happening on land at that same time, and consistently shows that the predators on land were really no match in terms of size or scariness with respect to their marine counterparts. Covered monsters include reptiles such as mosasaurs, aquatic carniverous birds such as hesperonis, sharks like megaladon, and mammals such as the king of whales; basilosaurus. Each chapter also shows how the earth's continents were positioned at that time, along with the state of the global climate.

The book is beautifully illustrated, with color pictures drawn to look like underwater photographs of the actual creatures as if they were still alive. The intro chapter also gives a timeline of life on the planet, and explains how life evolved from sea to land, and often times back to the sea again. Overall, a great book; though it is missing several things that prevent me from giving it 5 out of 5 stars. First, throughout the text various sea creatures are named without any accompanying figures. Second, the term "sea monsters" implies animals at the very top of the food pyramid. Unfortunately, this book fails to "flesh out" the rest of the food pyramid. Each chapter should have included one large illustration of a food pyramid, with illustrations and names of the various organims at each step in the pyramid. Third, outside of one chapter, the book emphasizes creatures living and hunting in the shallows, or the top layer of the ocean. It would be nice if the book also examined more creatures living closer to the ocean bottom, such as deep-sea fish. Last, there should be a concluding chapter to sum everything up. This chapter should also include a large picture of the modern Earth, and highlight where fossils of the different "sea monsters" have been found. Even with these drawbacks, the book is still wonderful, and is great reading for kids, teenagers and adults.
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on March 24, 2014
My grandson loves everything done by Nigel Marven. The animation in all Nigel Marvin's DVDs is so well done that my grandson really though they were real despite the fact he knows they are extinct. They are not scarey and the kids watch them over and over. The adults like these too because the animation is based on factual evidence.
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on December 27, 2014
Chased by Sea Monsters is one awesome and incredibly well written book about the prehistoric predators and sea creatures that lived in the past in the 7 deadliest oceans of pre-history. Not only is the information very fascinating and fun to read but also funny and entertaining with beautifully illustrated photography and pictures and timelines. This book will give you a glimpse into a world and sea creatures that ruled the oceans long ago and are now long since vanished but not forgotten by science and people who love learning about the past.
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on December 29, 2014
My son always watches this on TV and he was thrilled to get the book version. He likes to get his book out and follow it while watching the program. Its a great book filled with so much information and awesome pictures.
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on May 15, 2013
I show this factually-correct little series to my students and they are always entranced by it. Favorite is going back in time to the Ordovician, where there is not enough oxygen to breathe and the days are only 18 hours long. The "trilo-cam" is also ingenious. I would highly recommend this.
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on July 5, 2006
Face-to-face with sharks that can bite whales in half? Swim with armor-plated fish so powerful that they can bite through chain mail? Dive into the midst of a feeding frenzy? Do all this and live to write about it?

This is the premise behind "Chased By Sea Monsters", the companion book to the Discovery Channel program. The series featured intrepid zoologist/time-traveler Nigel Marven swimming in the seven most deadly seas of the prehistoric age and encountering some of the most dangerous (and not-so-dangerous) sea monsters of those eras, such as the Jurassic and Devonian. Some of the creatures that Nigel encounters are the marine crocodile, the pack hunting mosasaur, the may-not-be extinct megalodon shark and the whale-eating prehistoric whale the basilosaurus.

The book is a word-for-word print version of the program though it also features a few more facts about some of the creatures. The book does not go into a lot of biological detail about the creatures but you do get a good feel for how they interacted and what they ate (or what ate them), and what climate conditions were like. The book does provide brief summaries of the creatures, giving the era they lived in, length, what they ate and the like.

If you would like to be "Chased By Sea Monsters" and get more of a feel for the marine reptiles of the dinosaur age, this is the book to have.
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on July 17, 2005
as soon as i recieved this book, i hugged a startled looking UPS guy and then ran off to my room for an afternoon of fun reading. As i read the book, i was mesmerized, enchanted, by the beautiful computer graphics and the very descriptive language in the book. i began to feel as if i were actually walking along the shores of a beach in the Ordovician, diving in the seas of the Cretaceous (the most dangerous sea of all time) or actually coming face to face with a terrifying megalodon or dunkleosteus. i became lost in my own world, imagining how cool it would be to be in those times. Imagine going diving with a humongo dunkleousteus by your side, or being able to ride on the back of an Archelon ( ancient ancestor of the green turtle) Imagine being chased by a megalodon, the prehistoric (and much much bigger) relative of the modern great white shark. to most people, this would be terrifying, but i get really turned on by danger so anyways. Just buy the book and it will take you there. go on a journey through the seven most dangerous seas of all time and see what lived in our oceans so long ago. And this amazing book also tells you what is happening on land as well as in the ocean. it also tells what is new ( changes in the environment, which new predators are arriving, etc.) if you are as interested in our very distant past as i am, then i definetly recomend you get this book, along with Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, Walking with Cavemen, and any other books in the series

P.S You will be very surprised to see how the very first whales looked like, and how they evolved into what they are today!
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