the Oceans Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter by Ellen Prager
The oceans contain a mind-boggling array of diversity. Odd shapes, unusual ways of locomotion or obtaining food and especially, strange methods of procreation stuff these pages. The wide variety presented means that details are rather lacking, which only fired my curiosity and sent me to the computer countless times to look something up- usually the appearance of a creature, sometimes more facts about it. The author is definitely passionate about marine life, and made an obvious effort to include the most titillating facts about the most curious things in the ocean. (Did you know the box jellyfish -it's square- has true eyes with retinas, corneas and lenses and yet it has no brain, so we don't know how it processes visual information. Just one of the many things I learned about.) Unfortunately, the jokes and efforts to make things relevant to the 'layperson' by including popular culture references really fell flat with me. Every time such a phrase came up it jarred me out of the factual narrative. I like learning all the tidbits of info- quite a few were new and surprising to me- but too much of the prose was just irritating. The 'why it matters' sections felt incomplete and repetitive. Overall too shallow- not nearly enough depth to satisfy.