Ocean Bestiary: Meeting Marine Life from Abalone to Orca to Zooplankton (Oceans in Depth) (Hardcover)

Ocean Bestiary: Meeting Marine Life from Abalone to Orca to Zooplankton (Oceans in Depth) By Richard J. King, Richard J. King (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Richard J. King, Richard J. King (Illustrator)
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Description


A delightful A-to-Z menagerie of the sea—whimsically illustrated, authoritative, and thought-provoking.
 
For millennia, we have taken to the waves. And yet, for humans, the ocean remains our planet’s most inaccessible region, the place about which we know the least. From A to Z, abalone to zooplankton, and through both text and original illustrations, Ocean Bestiary is a celebration of our ongoing quest to know the sea and its creatures.
 
Focusing on individual species or groups of animals, Richard J. King embarks upon a global tour of ocean wildlife, including beluga whales, flying fish, green turtles, mako sharks, noddies, right whales, sea cows (as well as sea lions, sea otters, and sea pickles), skipjack tuna, swordfish, tropicbirds, walrus, and yellow-bellied sea snakes. But more than this, King connects the natural history of ocean animals to the experiences of people out at sea and along the world’s coastlines. From firsthand accounts passed down by the earliest Polynesian navigators to observations from Wampanoag clamshell artists, African-American whalemen, Korean female divers (or haenyeo), and today’s pilots of deep-sea submersibles—and even to imaginary sea expeditions launched through poems, novels, and paintings—Ocean Bestiary weaves together a diverse array of human voices underrepresented in environmental history to tell the larger story of our relationship with the sea. Sometimes funny, sometimes alarming, but always compelling, King’s vignettes reveal both how our perceptions of the sea have changed for the better and how far we still have to go on our voyage.

About the Author


Richard J. King is visiting professor with the Sea Education Association, founding coeditor of Searchable Sea Literature, and a research associate with the Coastal and Ocean Studies Program of Williams College–Mystic Seaport. Most recently, he is the author of Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of “Moby-Dick” and coeditor of Audubon at Sea: The Coastal and Transatlantic Adventures of John James Audubon, both also published by the University of Chicago Press. He lives with his family in Santa Cruz, CA.

Richard J. King is visiting professor with the Sea Education Association, founding coeditor of Searchable Sea Literature, and a research associate with the Coastal and Ocean Studies Program of Williams College–Mystic Seaport. Most recently, he is the author of Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of “Moby-Dick” and coeditor of Audubon at Sea: The Coastal and Transatlantic Adventures of John James Audubon, both also published by the University of Chicago Press. He lives with his family in Santa Cruz, CA.

Praise For…


"Bestiaries of the past were 'compendiums of beasts,' both mythical and real, 'illuminated' with elaborate art and text on natural history, and the occasional moral lesson or bit of religious wisdom. Writer and literary scholar King has riffed off these anthologies in Ocean Bestiary. His vignettes cover not only biology but also literature, history, and firsthand accounts of the animal in question from fishers, divers, whalers, scientists, artists, and others, using a variety of sources, including rare manuscripts, oral histories, and scientific reports. Ocean Bestiary is an entertaining collection of info—accessible, engaging, and perfect for ocean enthusiasts and anyone who loves sharing trivia and anecdotes."
— Hakai

"King's quality of research is evident; his entries contain firsthand accounts from primary sources dating back to early Polynesian explorers, through contemporary accounts by navigators of seagoing vessels. His writing style is delightful and witty; he is a natural storyteller. Readers will also love his illustrations, which have the power to put smiles on faces. Highly recommended."
— Library Journal

"King profiles marine animals and tells of their notable encounters with humans, spanning Polynesian voyagers’ first contact with New Zealand sea lions around 1200 CE through to a Japanese biologist’s successful efforts to photograph a living giant squid in 2004. Some of the more amusing entries describe how a 1920s sea turtle hunter’s practice of carving his initials into turtle shells inspired a marine biologist to conduct tagging studies on the animals’ migration, as well as how whale sharks eat by ingesting krill-filled ocean water that gets filtered through 'twenty spongy, porous pads in the shark’s throat.' . . . Charming illustrations."
— Publishers Weekly

"In medieval times, bestiaries offered beautifully illustrated texts of real or imagined creatures, accompanied by their natural history and moral lessons. In this work, the author takes a different approach. . . . These first-hand accounts come from books, rare manuscripts, oral histories, interviews, podcasts, newspapers, archaeological reports, and more, and include perspectives from John James Audubon and Christopher Columbus. . . . The book will capture readers' attention."
— Booklist

“King offers readers new ways of looking at and into maritime social histories and marine scientific histories of knowing (and not knowing) marine life in this self-illustrated compendium of some fifty vignettes of ocean animals. The volume uniquely contributes to ocean studies and blue humanities, particularly as a model of how scholars and artists can move fluidly (yet conscientiously) across multiple temporalities, geographies, and modes of oceanic knowledge and representation. . . . In concert with a range of intertextual connections, cross-cultural exchanges, and interdisciplinary voices, Ocean Bestiary’s prismatic species survey welcomes us to drift toward unconventional thinking and refreshed narratives about the world’s oceans, helping us find and secure better relations with marine life.”
— H-Environment

"An eclectic collection of short tales. . . . The text is liberally scattered with King's own whimsical drawings. This is a book for dipping into. . . . A hopeful future is also portrayed, and King's entertaining writing often made me smile."
— Conservation Biology

"Ocean Bestiary isn’t just for those who live near, or visit, marine areas. It provides a knowledgeable, illustrated, well-referenced collection of examples of marine life connected to history, science, and art done in an entertaining storybook style."
— American Biology Teacher

“At a time when the wonders of marine life need as many compassionate advocates as possible, Ocean Bestiary engages readers in the ocean’s intricacies and significance, by telling curious, at times humorous stories of its animals as seen through the eyes of people who have spent time at sea—observing, sailing, fishing, and studying often in remote, unseen parts of the planet. The diversity of storytellers and human characters—with a particular focus on people from non-Western, non-white ethnic backgrounds—helps us to see that the ocean is for everyone. Fresh, accessible, and with entertaining illustrations, these are stories worth telling and well told.”
— Helen Scales, author of "The Brilliant Abyss: Exploring the Majestic Hidden Life of the Deep Ocean, and the Looming Threat That Imperils It"


Product Details
ISBN: 9780226818030
ISBN-10: 0226818039
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: May 26th, 2023
Pages: 320
Series: Oceans in Depth