Neptune's Ark

Neptune's Ark

From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Spanning five hundred million years of evolution, a study of marine life along the Pacific coast of North America captures the remarkable diversity of creatures, past and present, that have made the habitat their home, from ancient giant sea cows and flightless toothed birds, to modern-day orcas and sea otters, and chronicles the exploits of the adventurers, explorers, scientists, and naturalists who studied the region.

University of California Press
"Neptune's Ark takes us on a voyage of discovery into the world of the enigmatic creatures who evolved in the ocean and the intrepid individuals who study them. In this moving and majestic book, David Rains Wallace navigates the mythic dimensions of humans' and animals' ancient, ambiguous relationship with the sea."--Adrienne Mayor, author of The First Fossil Hunters and Fossil Legends of the First Americans

"In the pageant of creation, Earth's seas have always hosted the greatest part of the show. Wallace brings to life a spectacular array of marine organisms ancient and new, tiny and titanic, renowned and obscure-and some almost unimaginably weird-and illuminates often surprising connections between them. Have you ever wondered where modern sea lions come from? Or penguins? Pelicans? Manatees? Great whales? The answers, in Neptune's Ark, take your mind on a voyage through millions of years of natural history. Enjoy the swim."--Douglas Chadwick, author of The Grandest of Lives

"Neptune's Ark delivers not only a riveting history of paleontology and the origins of marine mammalogy on the west coast-from Cope and Emlong to Steller and Scammon-but also a heartfelt tribute to the great creatures they all pursued so avidly."--Dick Russell, author of Eye of the Whale

"Wallace writes fascinating accounts of the astounding menagerie of animals that once inhabited the waters of the west coast, from giant toothed birds, oyster bears, and the enigmatic Desmostylus, to enormous saber-toothed salmon. Paired with Ken Kirkland's exquisitely rendered and life-like drawings, this book is hard to put down."--Ray Troll, author of Rapture of the Deep

Neptune's Ark illuminates the dramatic saga of evolution spanning 500 million years of marine life along the magnificent Pacific coast of western North America. In an engaging narrative that artfully blends elements of science, history, folklore, and personal observation, renowned naturalist David Rains Wallace reveals a marvelous diversity of creatures, not only modern ones, but those from the far prehistoric past. Mysterious forms have abounded—from giant sea cows, oyster bears, and flightless toothed birds to the orcas, elephant seals, and sea otters of modern times. Wallace tells a story about evolution as well as a tale of the storms, scurvy, and shipwrecks that plagued the coast's explorers, naturalists, and scientists, many of whom led turbulent or tragic lives, with themes reflected in the wonder and danger of the coast itself. Neptune's Ark is full of vivid characters—from explorers like Sir Francis Drake and Captain James Cook, to pioneer naturalists including Georg Steller and Charles Scammon, to early paleontologists Othniel Marsh and Edward Cope, and to recent scientists and ecological visionaries.


Baker
& Taylor

Spanning five hundred million years of evolution, a study of marine life along the Pacific coast of North America captures the remarkable diversity of creatures, past and present, that have made the habitat their home, from ancient giant sea cows and flightless toothed birds, to modern-day orcas and sea otters.

Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, c2007
ISBN: 9780520243224
0520243226
Branch Call Number: 569.0979 W1552n 2007
Characteristics: xxix, 282 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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