Synopses & Reviews
Kraken is the traditional name for gigantic sea monsters, and this book introduces one of the most charismatic, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants of the sea: the squid. The pages take the reader on a wild narrative ride through the world of squid science and adventure, along the way addressing some riddles about what intelligence is, and what monsters lie in the deep. In addition to squid, both giant and otherwise, Kraken
examines other equally enthralling cephalopods, including the octopus and the cuttlefish, and explores their otherworldly abilities, such as camouflage and bioluminescence. Accessible and entertaining, Kraken
is also the first substantial volume on the subject in more than a decade and a must for fans of popular science.
Praise for KRAKEN: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid
"Williams writes with a deft, supple hand as she surveys these spindly, extraordinary beasts and their world. She reminds us that the known world might be considerably larger than in the days of the bestiary-makers, but there is still room for wonder and strangeness."
-Los Angeles Times.com
"Williams's account of squid, octopuses, and other cephalopods abounds with both ancient legend and modern science."
"[Exposes squid's] eerie similarities to the human species, down to eye structure and the all-important brain cell, the neuron."
-New York Post
"just the right mix of history and science"
"Kraken is an engaging and expansive biography of a creature that sparks our imagination and stimulates our curiosity. It's a perfect blend of storytelling and science."
-Vincent Pieribone, author of Aglow in the Dark
KRAKEN extracts pure joy, intellectual exhilaration, and deep wonder from the most unlikely of places--squid. It is hard to read Wendy Williams's luminous account and not feel the thrill of discovery of the utterly profound connections we share with squid and all other living things on the planet. With wit, passion, and skill as a storyteller, Williams has given us a beautiful window into our world and ourselves. --Neil Shubin, author of the national bestseller "Your Inner Fish"
Wendy William's KRAKEN weaves vignettes of stories about historical encounters with squid and octopus, with stories of today's scientists who are captivated by these animals. Her compelling book has the power to change your world-view about these creatures of the sea, while telling the gripping, wholly comprehensible story of the ways in which these animals have changed human medical history. --Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation
Kraken is the traditional name for gigantic sea monsters, and this book introduces one of the most charismatic, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants of the sea: the squid. The pages take the reader on a wild narrative ride through the world of squid science and adventure, along the way addressing some riddles about what intelligence is, and what monsters lie in the deep. In addition to squid, both giant and otherwise, "Kraken" examines other equally enthralling cephalopods, including the octopus and the cuttlefish, and explores their otherworldly abilities, such as camouflage and bioluminescence. Accessible and entertaining, "Kraken" is also the first substantial volume on the subject in more than a decade and a must for fans of popular science.
Presents a study on squids and other cephalopods that describe their resilience throughout history, the truth behind the misconceptions about them, and the research being done on them that could help scientists understand the human brain.
and#160;Our relationship to the octopus dates back to prehistory, when the eight-armed animal was depicted on vases and found in stone carvings from ancient Greece. Now we appreciate them for their abilities as escape artists, with sophisticated camouflage systems and ink jetsandmdash;as well as their roles in tasty dishes from many cuisines. Octopuses are also among the most intelligent invertebrates in the world, with mental capacity comparable to that of a dog. In this heavily illustrated book, Richard Schweid details this animalandrsquo;s remarkable natural history and its multifaceted relationship with humans.and#160;Schweid describes the octopusandrsquo;s intelligence, defense mechanisms, and short lifespan. He shows how some people have considered octopuses as nothing more than a meal and examines their role in the modern global fish and seafood industry. Other cultures, he reveals, see them as erotic totems or symbols of the darkest evils, and he discusses the difficulties people face when trying to keep them as petsandmdash;they are able to use their problem-solving skills, mobility, and boneless body to escape seemingly secure tanks. A fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary world of these popular creatures, Octopus will immerse readers in its amazing undersea world.
About the Author
\Wendy Williams's writing has appeared on the front pages of the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and The Baltimore Sun. She's also written for the New York Times, Parade Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Science. Williams is the coauthor of Cape Wind, which was named one of 2007's ten best environmental books by Booklist and one of the year's best science books by Library Journal. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
From vampire to wallflower -- A wonderful fish -- A saltwater Serengeti -- Blue bloods -- Architeuthis on ice -- Fuzzy math and tentacles -- Luminous seas -- Diaphanous and delicate -- Solving Frankenstein's mystery -- Serendipitous squid -- Heure d'amour -- Playdate -- Fan clubs and film stars -- One lucky sucker -- Smart skin -- Curious, exciting--yet slightly disturbing.