CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 13 . . . . March 1, 2002
Erich Hoyt, an award-winning science writer, gives readers an amazing tour of the ocean world through an underwater camera in this fascinating book. He examines former and current sea monsters which dwell at various depths of the ocean. His purpose is to dispel misconceptions and turn these "monsters" into animals worthy of humans' "respect, patient curiosity and admiration." For example, Hoyt states that whales and rays used to be thought of as monsters to be feared, but, as people learned more about them, their opinions of these gentle creatures changed.
of the Deep is divided into three sections, each of which has several
chapters. The book traces the history of man's exploration of the ocean
world and the many inventions which have enabled humans to study and
learn about this unique habitat. Though catchy, the subtitle is, perhaps,
a bit of a misnomer, for Hoyt not only highlights several well-known
"monsters" - the giant squid, sharks and the fanged dragonfish,
to name a few - but he also discusses the countless other creatures
which call the ocean their home. In the first part of the book, Hoyt
explains, in detail, adaptations of ocean-dwellers (e.g. counter-shading,
bioluminescence) as a direct result of the amount of light, pressure,
ocean currents and temperature changes at various depths. Predator-prey
relationships are featured in the second part, while the third section
highlights the rugged terrain of the ocean floor, underwater volcanic
activity and recent discoveries of the first ecosystem on Earth that
does not get its energy from the sun. Lastly, Hoyt envisions a future
in which humans will be able to explore safely all of the ocean's depths.
Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul,
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.