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Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls

Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls

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Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls

43 página
30 minutos
Jun 18, 2013


When viewed from a quiet beach, the ocean, with its rolling waves and vast expanse, can seem calm, even serene. But hidden beneath the sea’s waves are a staggering abundance and variety of active creatures, engaged in the never-ending struggles of life—to reproduce, to eat, and to avoid being eaten. With Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls, marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the sea to introduce an astonishing cast of fascinating and bizarre creatures that make the salty depths their home, with the help of stunning color photos. From the lobsters that battle rivals or seduce mates with their urine to hagfish that ties itself into a knot to keep from suffocating in its own slime—there’s far more to Prager’s account than her ever-entertaining anecdotes. Again and again, she illustrates the crucial connections between life in the ocean and humankind, enchanting us as she educates, enthralling us with the wealth of life in the sea, and reminding us of our need to protect it.
Jun 18, 2013

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Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls - Ellen Prager

Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls

With seven color photographs


Chicago Shorts

Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls comes from Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Ocean’s Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter by Ellen Prager, © 2011 by Ellen Prager

All rights reserved.

Chicago Shorts edition, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0-226-09457-1

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226094571.001.0001




The Hagfish

Love Potion #9


Why They Matter

How You Can Help


Secreted away in stacks of scientific journals and academic books, hidden within the digital cloud of data on the web, is a wealth of fascinating information about marine organisms and their odd strategies for living in the sea. Years of research by scientists across the world have produced some extraordinary, almost unbelievable, stories about the oceans’ residents, many of which have surprising connections to society and everyday life. This information is all too rarely revealed to the layperson or made accessible and engaging to the nonscientist. Yet much of what has been discovered contributes significantly to our understanding of the planet, the oceans, and our reliance on marine resources, and is at the same time wonderfully entertaining, much of it being stranger than fiction and more salacious than a soap opera.

This book is meant to reveal the true goings-on in the sea, a tell-all of the oceans. It is not meant to be a comprehensive biological text or an exacting overview of the problems faced in the oceans, but rather a brief and entertaining look at some of the oceans’ most fascinating creatures, their unusual tactics for survival, and their invaluable links to humankind. The end goal is to showcase the importance of the great diversity of life in the sea, why it is at risk, and why we all should care.

The original title for the book was going to be something like Weird and Wild Under the Sea: And Why These Creatures Matter. As I began to comb through the literature and talk to my colleagues, however, the title began to evolve as several somewhat surprising and rather captivating themes started to emerge. I discovered that more of the oceans’ residents use, deploy, or are made up of slime than I ever expected. They use mucus to capture food, defend against predators, clean themselves off, and in reproduction. Many organisms have gelatinous bodies or arms of goo, and some use slime as protection against the cold, to reduce drag, or to enhance their travels by slickening their path. The undersea world is a seriously

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