Saturday, September 22, 2007

A nice coffee table book

The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian

I borrowed The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian from the library. It has loads of cool photographs of deep sea creatures. They are alien, strange and very different from us. There are 220 of these. The only trouble with the production of the book is that it has a bit of a chemical smell. Here is the caption for the picture at the top:

Up until 1979, whenever one thought about worms, the image of a colorless earthworm came immediately to mind, but the discovery of the giant, sublimely colored creatures living around hydrothermal vents in the eastern Pacific abruptly changed that view. These astonishing creatures live in symbiosis with the chemosynthetic bacteria that provide the worms with their meals. It took the specialists a while to understand the functioning of the animal, which at first they believed to be a filter feeder. Robert D Ballard remembers their incredulity: "With no eyes, no mouth, or any other obvious organs for ingesting food or secreting waste, and no means of locomotion, it was no worm, snake or eel, but no plant either - the strangest creature we had ever seen".

I am dismayed at the way we seem to be overfishing the oceans. Deep trawling can do lots of damage to the ecosystems that contains these marvels.

No comments:

Post a Comment