Download e-book for iPad: Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and by Ellen Prager

By Ellen Prager

Whilst seen from a quiet seashore, the sea, with its rolling waves and big expanse, can appear calm, even serene. yet hidden underneath the sea’s waves are a astounding abundance and diversity of energetic creatures, engaged within the endless struggles of life—to reproduce, to devour, and to prevent being eaten.With intercourse, medicinal drugs, and Sea Slime, marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the ocean to introduce an mind-blowing forged of interesting and weird creatures that make the salty depths their domestic. From the tiny yet voracious arrow worms whose rapacious methods could lead to loss of life via overeating, to the lobsters that conflict competitors or seduce friends with their urine, to the sea’s masters of cover, the octopuses, Prager not just brings to lifestyles the ocean’s unfamiliar beings, but additionally finds the methods they have interaction as predators, prey, or capability buddies. And whereas those animals make for a few jaw-dropping stories—witness the ocean cucumber, which ejects its personal intestines to confuse predators, or the hagfish that ties itself right into a knot to maintain from suffocating in its personal slime—there’s way more to Prager’s account than her ever-entertaining anecdotes: time and again, she illustrates the an important connections among lifestyles within the ocean and humankind, in every little thing from our meals provide to our financial system, and in drug discovery, biomedical examine, and well known culture.Written with a diver’s love of the sea, a novelist’s ability at storytelling, and a scientist’s deep wisdom, intercourse, medicinal drugs, and Sea Slime enchants because it educates, enchanting us with the wealth of existence within the sea—and reminding us of the necessity to shield it.

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Additional resources for Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter

Sample text

Sea slugs that have an odd “naked gill” structure sitting peculiarly atop their backs are called nudibranchs. To the basic sea slug body plan, add seemingly infinite variations in shape, color, texture, ornamentation, and gill and rhinophore structure (plate 6). It is as if Mother Nature asked a children’s art class to design the sea slug and gave them instructions to use all the colors of the rainbow, to attach any sort of paper cutout for decoration, and most especially, to use their imaginations with abandon.

It is a dangerous time for the lobsters, as they are immobile and defenseless. They may go into seclusion for several days, emerging only after their new shells have begun to harden. The first body parts to stiffen are those most critical to foraging, such as the tips of the walking legs and mouthparts. It can take several months for the lobsters’ carapace to harden completely. Maine lobsters molt principally in the relatively warm summer months. The Caribbean spiny lobster may not have the brutal mêlées or social rankings of the Maine lobster, but they exhibit at least two very curious and unique behaviors.

Photo by Karen Doody. plate 9. A parrotfish slumbers in a cocoon of protective slime at night in the ­Celebes Sea, Malaysia. com. plate 10. A male jawfish with a mouthful of eggs. Photo by Steven Kovacs. Let’s Talk Snails 37 rivals the mucus of the hagfish, if not in quantity, certainly in its adhesive, difficult-to-get-off, properties. The conch is thought to use its slippery mucus to slicken its path and as a means to ward off potential predators. Even with the armor of a thick shell, a muscular foot with a pointed, hard covering, and an abundance of slime, the conch is still fair game for some of the oceans’ better-equipped hunters.

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