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Sensuous Seas

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Table of Contents

Preface: What Is a Marine Biologist? vii Acknowledgments ix Apologia xi Prologue: The Perils of Teaching 1 Chapter 1. Deadly Darts 3 Chapter 2. The Great Jade Green Octopus Hunt 9 Chapter 3. Bedtime Stories 20 Chapter 4. Garden of Eden: The Death Apple and the Tree of Life 29 Chapter 5. A True Romance Story 36 Chapter 6. Elixir of Love 46 Chapter 7. Skinny South Sea Sausages 52 Chapter 8. The Only Male Reproductive Organ with a Name 59 Chapter 9. Living Lance 66 Chapter 10. Role Reversal 74 Chapter 11. Super Male 83 Chapter 12. Miracle Fish 89 Chapter 13. Fugu 99 Chapter 14. Bunnies of the Sea 107 Chapter 15. Passion for Purple 116 Chapter 16. Size Does Count 122 Chapter 17. Fiddler on the Root 131 Chapter 18. Beware the Duppy 138 Chapter 19. The Secret of an Improved Sex Life 145 Chapter 20. How to Court a Female 152 Chapter 21. The Anti-BLB Club 159 Chapter 22. Sea Pussy 166 Chapter 23. Debunking the Big Lie 176 Chapter 24. A Peek into the Anus of a Sea Cucumber 183 Chapter 25. The Yellow Submarine 190 Chapter 26. The Perils of Vanity 200 Chapter 27. Sexually Repressed Victorian Taxonomists 206 Chapter 28. Random Ramblings on Relationships 214 Chapter 29. Penile Bloodletting 222 Chapter 30. Death and Confusion 232 Chapter 31. Eyeball to Eyeball 242 Epilogue 253 Glossary 257 Illustration Sources 264 Index 265

Promotional Information

Kaplan actually does the things that many others will ultimately have left on their 'to do' lists. He chases octopuses with his students, dives to the edge of the abyss in a research submarine, and eats things most travelers would never consider. He is part Indiana Jones, part Richard Feynman, and part Woody Allen. -- Paul Billeter, College of Southern Maryland Highly entertaining. This book really is a celebration of biodiversity. -- John Kricher, Wheaton College

About the Author

Eugene H. Kaplan is Axinn Distinguished Professor of Conservation and Ecology at Hofstra University. A recipient of the Herman Melville award for writing on marine subjects, he is the author of nine books, including "Problem Solving in Biology" and two Peterson Field Guides, one on coral reefs of the Caribbean and the other on seashores of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean.


"Eugene H. Kaplan has been teaching marine biology for half a century, and shares his experience of bringing the subject alive... Each of the 31 chapters opens with either one of Kaplan's own memoirs or a scenario from his imagination, before exploring the marine biology behind the tale... [T]he entertainment seldom flags. Kaplan's book conveys the breadth and excitement of an education in marine biology... [T]here is no stronger recommendation that I could make."--Jon Copley, Nature "Eugene H. Kaplan has a well-developed sense of humor, delving amusingly yet seriously into such topics as the sex life of squids ... and the future of sea horses."--Martin Levin, Toronto Globe and Mail "With vivid writing, a sense of humor and truly fascinating creatures to work with, Kaplan creates a feel for the teeming sea and rouses a sense of wonder in his readers. Line drawings in each chapter illustrate the creatures and their life cycles. This is a book for people with even a small bit of curiosity about the hidden world around them."--Lynn Harnett, Portsmouth Herald "From this collection of short stories, a theme emerges. Kaplan guides readers to appreciate the remarkably diverse web of life that has evolved and continues to evolve in an ever-changing ocean environment... Sensuous Seas informs and challenges, one fascinating tale after another."--Fred Bortz, Arkansas Democrat Gazette "Eugene Kaplan's thirty-one chapters deliver concise and beautifully illustrated accounts of life-form specialization, symbiotic survival techniques, and unique mating rituals... Kaplan gives us the immense diversity of marine life, distinctively expressed in form, coloration, habitat (water, sand, rock, coral), and life patterns (aggressive or passive, independent or parasitic), opening up a universe."--Peter Skinner, ForeWord "This book spells out in evocative yet scientifically accurate ways, the mysteries, the drama, the variations, yes even the day-to-day lives of organisms in the sea... [It presents] a new world of possibilities about how to hook your students into studying the fascinating stories that organisms in the sea have to offer as well as some of the questions for which there are as yet no answers."--American Biology Teacher "All combined, Kaplan's writing appeals to the story lover, the scientist and anyone who just wants to know how crabs get it on."--Seattle Magazine "Sensuous Seas contains a wealth of stimulating and digestible information. This book is also beautifully produced and will be an attractive asset to any marine library."--Tim Ecott, Aquatic Mammals

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