Do Whales Get the Bends?: 118 Questions about Sea Life and Man's Relationship with the Sea


Using a question-and-answer format, this entertaining book addresses over 100 general interest questions about the sea, sea life, seabirds and man's relationship with the sea.

• Why is the sea salty?
• Does anything eat jellyfish?
• Why ...

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Using a question-and-answer format, this entertaining book addresses over 100 general interest questions about the sea, sea life, seabirds and man's relationship with the sea.

• Why is the sea salty?
• Does anything eat jellyfish?
• Why do whales sing?
• How do flying fish fly?
• Who owns the oceans?

Inspired by questions raised while the author was a guest lecturer on cruise ships, this fascinating and informative book is a lighthearted, surprising, and entertaining read for anyone interested in the sea in its many forms. Each bite-sized entry is no more than two or three pages long, making it an ideal book to dip into for anyone interested in the oceans and the teeming life above and below them.

Tony Rice is a retired marine biologist who now spends a good deal of time lecturing on the sea and its many phenomena to cruise ship passengers. He has also appeared on TV shows and radio programs. He lives in Hampshire, U.K.

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Editorial Reviews

Nautical Magazine
...a valuable and often fascinating volume. This is an excellent purchase - and good value...
Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A whale of a good time... Author Tony Rice covers topics such as how do flying fish fly, who owns the oceans, and everything else under or part of, the sea.... Rice is a retired marine biologist whose inspiration for the book came from the questions he was asked while guest-lecturing on a cruise ship.
This is a book to peruse in the head or to regale fellow crew with during off hours on a long passage. It is a book meant to be skimmed, and each question stands on its own...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574092905
  • Publisher: Sheridan House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,357,109
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction What's it all about? ix

Section 1 Ocean Facts and Figures 1

1 How big are the oceans? 1

2 Where did all the water come from? 2

3 How old are the oceans? 2

4 How salty are the oceans? 5

5 Why is the sea salty? 6

6 How deep are the deepest parts of the oceans? 8

7 How does pressure change with depth in the sea? 9

8 Why is the sea blue? 9

9 Why do icebergs float? 9

10 Why are icebergs white? 11

11 Why are icebergs in the Arctic and Antarctic so different? 12

12 What is sea ice? 14

13 What are the Continental Shelves? 14

14 What are the Continental Slopes? 15

15 What are the Abyssal Plains? 16

16 What are Deep Sea Trenches? 16

17 Is the bottom of the deep sea flat? 17

18 What are Hydrothermal Vents? 20

19 What is Coriolis Force? 24

20 What causes ocean currents? 27

21 Are there deep currents in the ocean? 29

22 What are Tectonic Plates? 31

Section 2 Life in the Oceans 33


23 Are seaweeds plants? 33

24 How deep do seaweeds grow in the ocean? 34

25 Why are seaweeds mainly brown? 35

26 What is plankton? 36

27 What is phytoplankton? 36

28 Why are some parts of the ocean more productive than others? 38

29 How deep in the oceans do animals live? 45

30 Why aren't deep sea animals crushed by the pressure? 45

31 How many different types of animals live in the ocean? 47

32 What do animals in the deep ocean feed on? 51

33 What are jellyfish? 53

34 What is the Portuguese Man-o'-war? 55

35 Does anything eat jellyfish? 56

36 Are there any marine insects? 57

37 What is bioluminescence? 57


38 What are shellfish? 58

39 Why does eating shellfish make some people very ill? 58

40 What are molluscs? 59

41 How big are giant squid? 60

42 What is the colossal squid? 62

43 What are crustaceans? 63

44 What is a lobster? 64

45 What is scampi? 68

46 What is the difference between a shrimp and a prawn? 69

47 What is or are krill? 71

Fish etc.

48 How many different types of fish live in the oceans? 72

49 Are all fish species cold blooded? 74

50 Which is the largest fish in the oceans? 75

51 How do flying fish fly? 75

52 Why do flying fish fly? 76

53 Do fish drink water? 77


54 Why do seabirds follow ships? 80

55 How many different seabirds are there? 81

56 What are seagulls? 83

57 How many penguin species are there? 83

58 How deep do penguins dive? 84

59 Do all penguins live in the Antarctic? 84

60 Where does the name penguin come from? 85

61 Do penguins have feathers or fur? 85

Whales and Dolphins

62 How many whale and dolphin species are there in the oceans? 86

63 How deep do whales dive? 87

64 Do all whales and dolphins come to the surface? 87

65 Do whales have to breathe out like scuba divers when they surface? 88

66 Do whales get the bends? 88

67 What's in a whale's blow? 90

68 Why do the blows of different whales look different? 91

69 Why is the Sperm whale called a Sperm whale? 91

70 What is the Sperm whale's spermaceti for? 93

71 Are dolphins whales? 94

72 What is the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? 94

73 Why are Right whales called Right whales? 95

74 What are rorqual whales? 96

75 What is whalebone or baleen? 96

76 How do whales sing? 97

77 Why do whales sing? 98

Section 3 Ships and Sailors 99

78 What is the difference between a ship and a boat? 99

79 What is a fathom? 100

80 What is a nautical mile? 100

81 What are lines of latitude and longitude? 100

82 What is the difference between true north and magnetic north? 103

83 How does a gyrocompass work? 105

84 Why do Greenland and Antarctica look so huge on most world maps? 106

85 Why is a knot called a knot? 109

86 Why port and starboard? 109

87 What are all those marks on a ship's hull for? 110

88 What does a ship's tonnage mean? 112

89 Why do many ships have bulbous bows? 112

90 How far can you see from a ship at sea? (The simple version for most of us) 113

91 How far can you see from a ship at sea? (The nerd's version) 114

92 How far off can you see land from a ship at sea? 117

Section 4 Wind, Waves and Weather 118

93 How does the wind cause waves? 118

94 What is the Beaufort wind scale? 119

95 What does the Shipping Forecast mean? 121

96 Where on earth is Utseera? 122

97 Why are the Trade Winds called the Trade Winds? 123

98 What causes the Trade Winds? 124

99 How deep are the effects of waves felt? 127

100 Why do waves break when they reach the shore? 128

101 How big are the biggest oceanic waves recorded? 129

102 What are rogue waves? 130

103 What are tsunamis? 132

Section 5 Tides 134

104 What are tides? 134

105 What causes the tides? 135

106 What are spring and neap tides? 140

107 Why are adjacent tides often of different heights? 142

108 Why do tides get later each day? 144

109 Where are the biggest tides in the world? 146

110 Why are there no tides in the Mediterranean? 146

111 What are tidal bores? 147

Section 6 The Oceans and Global Warming 149

112 Are the oceans getting warmer? 149

113 Is the sea level rising? 151

114 Do the oceans absorb carbon dioxide? 152

Section 7 Man and the Sea 154

115 How deep have men been in the oceans? 154

116 Why do scuba divers have to breathe out when they return to the surface? 155

117 Does drinking seawater drive you mad? 155

118 Who owns the oceans? 158

Index 163

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