Currents of Contrast: Life in Southern Africa's Two Oceans

Overview

Southern Africa's coast is the meeting place of two ocean giants – the Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean and the Agulhas of the Indian Ocean. They clash fiercely at the continent's southern tip, dividing the region into two contrasting marine ecosystems that rank among the richest, most biologically diverse and oceanographically complex on the planet. The waters of the west coast are fed by the Benguela, a cold current that accounts for the enormous volume of marine life found here, while those of the east...
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Overview

Southern Africa's coast is the meeting place of two ocean giants – the Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean and the Agulhas of the Indian Ocean. They clash fiercely at the continent's southern tip, dividing the region into two contrasting marine ecosystems that rank among the richest, most biologically diverse and oceanographically complex on the planet. The waters of the west coast are fed by the Benguela, a cold current that accounts for the enormous volume of marine life found here, while those of the east coast – warmed by the Agulhas current – are noted for their huge variety of life forms. Currents of Contrast – Life in Southern Africa's Two Oceans first introduces the realm of the Benguela, where you will encounter the ocean's ultimate predator, the great white shark. Here, the nutrient-rich waters wash over rocky reefs, and vast kelp forests thrive, providing food for diverse animals and plants, among them Cape clawless otters. In the realm of the Agulhas, you can explore the Knysna estuary and its most charismatic inhabitant, the Knysna seahorse. Follow the sardine run on the east coast and witness the suite of predators that feasts on this silver cornucopia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770070868
  • Publisher: New Holland Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas P. Peschak is a marine biologist at the University of Cape Town's Marine Biology Research Institute. He leads ongoing research into abalone poaching, kelp forest ecology, Cape Clawless Otters and the ethno-marine biology knowledge of traditional cultures. He is an experienced field biologist and research diver and has worked in Africa, Central America, the Middle East and in the South Pacific. Thomas is an award winning natural history photographer and writer specializing in underwater and marine wildlife subject across Africa. He is a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife magazine and to Africa Geographic.
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Table of Contents


Author's note     7
Forewords     8
Acknowledgements     11
Introduction     12
The Realm of the Benguela     29
Great White Shark: Misunderstood predator     30
Kelp: The golden forest     48
Jackals, Lions and Hyenas: Fishing for a living     62
Seabirds: Dwellers of the ocean sky     72
Southern Right Whale: The journey     90
Limpets: A life between the tides     104
Realm of the Agulhas     119
Sardine Run: The greatest shoal on Earth     120
Knysna Seahorse: Creature of the blue lagoon     130
The Tembe-Thonga: People of the sea and lakes     136
Sea Turtles: Prehistoric survivors     154
Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the sea     166
The Coelacanth: A fish that time forgot     184
Glossary     194
Selected bibliography     195
Index     197
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