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Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Seaby Katherine Harmon Courage
Synopses & Reviews
No one understands the octopus. With eight arms, three hearts, camouflaging skin, and a disarmingly sentient look behind its highly evolved eyes, how could it appear anything but utterly alien?
Octopuses have been captivating humans for as long as we have been catching them. Many cultures have octopus-centric creation myths, art, and, of course, cuisine. For all of our ancient fascination and millions of dollars worth of modern research, however, we still have not been able to get a firm grasp on these enigmatic creatures.
Now, Katherine Harmon Courage, a veteran journalist and contributing editor for Scientific American, dives into the mystifying underwater world of the octopus. She reports from around the globe of her adventures in Spain, Greece, and even Brooklyn, inviting us to experience the scientific discoveries and deep cultural ties that connect us to the octopus. Youll discover:
Courage deftly interweaves personal narrative with interviews with leading octopus experts. The result is an entertaining yet scientifically grounded exploration of the octopus and its infinitely complex world.
Part of the award-winning Scientists in the Field series, The Octopus Scientists takes readers to the waters off of Moorea, Tahiti to study the mind of the mollusk. Follow scientists as they uncover the secrets of its advanced intelligence and learn what these thinking, feeling creatures have to teach us about the oceans, its animals,and#160;and ourselves.
With three hearts and blue blood, its gelatinous body unconstrained by jointed limbs or gravity, the octopus seems to be an alien, an inhabitant of another world. Itandrsquo;s baggy, boneless body sprouts eight arms covered with thousands of suckersandmdash;suckers that can taste as well as feel. The octopus also has the powers of a superhero: it can shape-shift, change color, squirt ink, pour itself through the tiniest of openings, or jet away through the sea faster than a swimmer can follow.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; But most intriguing of all, octopusesandmdash;classed as mollusks, like clamsandmdash;are remarkably intelligent with quirky personalities. This book, an inquiry into the mind of an intelligent invertebrate, is also a foray into our own unexplored planet. These thinking, feeling creatures can help readers experience and understand our world (and perhaps even life itself) in a new way.
A pleasant, chatty book on a fascinating subject.” — Kirkus Reviews
Octopuses have been captivating humans for as long as we have been catching them. Yet for all of our ancient fascination and modern research, we still have not been able to get a firm grasp on these enigmatic creatures.
Katherine Harmon Courage dives into the mystifying underwater world of the octopus and reports on her research around the world. She reveals, for instance, that the oldest known octopus lived before the first dinosaurs; that two thirds of an octopuss brain capacity is spread throughout its arms, meaning each literally has a mind of its own; and that it can change colors within milliseconds to camouflage itself, yet appears to be colorblind.
About the Author
Katherine Harmon Courage covers health, biology, food, the environment, and general interest stories. She is an associate editor at Scientific American, which she joined in 2009 after completing an MA in journalism at the University of MissouriColumbia. Her work has won regional and national awards.
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Science and Mathematics » Biology » Entomology and General Invertebrates