BN.com Gift Guide

Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea [NOOK Book]

Overview

No one understands the octopus. With eight arms, three hearts, camouflaging skin, and a disarmingly sentient look behind its highly evolved eyes, how could it appear anything but utterly alien?

Octopuses have been captivating humans for as long as we have been catching them. Many cultures have octopus-centric creation myths, art, and, of course, cuisine. For all of our ...
See more details below
Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price

Overview

No one understands the octopus. With eight arms, three hearts, camouflaging skin, and a disarmingly sentient look behind its highly evolved eyes, how could it appear anything but utterly alien?

Octopuses have been captivating humans for as long as we have been catching them. Many cultures have octopus-centric creation myths, art, and, of course, cuisine. For all of our ancient fascination and millions of dollars’ worth of modern research, however, we still have not been able to get a firm grasp on these enigmatic creatures.

Now, Katherine Harmon Courage, a veteran journalist and contributing editor for Scientific American, dives into the mystifying underwater world of the octopus. She reports from around the globe of her adventures in Spain, Greece, and even Brooklyn, inviting us to experience the scientific discoveries and deep cultural ties that connect us to the octopus. You’ll discover:

The oldest known fossilized octopus is estimated to have lived 296 million years ago—even before the first dinosaurs emerged. Government agencies are funding research labs around the world to re-create the octopus’s naturally occurring camouflage techniques. About two thirds of an octopus’s brain capacity is spread throughout its eight arms, meaning each one literally has a mind of its own. Octopuses have aced numerous intelligence tests, including opening childproof bottles, solving mazes, and even recognizing individual people. The octopus can change colors and textures within milliseconds to vanish against its background—yet we have no evidence that it can see in color. Courage deftly interweaves personal narrative with interviews with leading octopus experts. The result is an entertaining yet scientifically grounded exploration of the octopus and its infinitely complex world.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Courage (contributing editor, Scientific American) conveys the many attractions and fascinating features of the octopus as she investigates its anatomy, physiology, reproduction, food hunting, and life cycle. Related to squids, cuttlefish, snails, slugs, and oysters, octopuses live all over the world, in shallow water as well as on the ocean bottom, but their elusive nature makes them almost impossible to study in the wild. Widely valued as food, they are also the subjects of scientific research related to aspects of their octopphysiology, such as their camouflage abilities. Their eight independently controlled arms are being studied by biorobotics researchers. Courage travelled widely to interview fishers and scientists in U.S. and European research laboratories to produce this well-written, accessible book. She shows her wonder at the intelligence, playfulness, and curiosity demonstrated by these invertebrates. Courage notes that lab scientists acknowledge the unique personalities of octopuses by giving them each a personal name and that the UK and European Union both have directives to protect octopuses from scientific experiments that may cause pain or suffering. VERDICT While Jennifer A. Mather and others' Octopus: The Ocean's Intelligent Invertebrate is a more comprehensive treatment of the subject, this book will whet the interest of students and the general reader. Recommended.—Judith B. Barnett, Univ. of Rhode Island Lib., Kingston
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
Scientific American associate editor Courage explains why the octopus has been beguiling humans for millennia, making an appearance in "creation myths, art, and, of course, cuisine." A gourmet treat in Mediterranean countries and found in abundance in oceans throughout the world, octopus is a high-protein, low-fat food. A relative of the squid, it is a biological anomaly with three hearts, eight arms and the intelligence to open childproof bottles and solve simple mazes. It is estimated that the octopus has been around nearly 300 million years, predating the dinosaur. Courage chronicles her travels tracking them--e.g., braving rough Spanish seas on a small fishing boat to witness how they are caught and then sampling the local specialty: "a dish of soft-boiled octopus sprinkled with paprika, sea salt, and olive oil." However, the author focuses primarily on their ecological niche. Both predators and prey, octopuses and eels have wrestling bouts to determine who eats whom. As potential prey for barracuda, sharks, sea otters and more, octopuses have developed elaborate defenses. When threatened, they shoot out an irritating burst of black, inky liquid that acts as a shield. Octopuses ordinarily mate only once, in the first two years of their lives, and then die within months. Each female hatches thousands of eggs, most of which perish. Those that survive live solitary lives until they mate. The octopus is thought to be color blind in the ordinary sense of the word, but it has an amazing ability to rapidly camouflage its skin," allowing it to blend seamlessly into the background in color, brightness, and even texture and movement…in about three-tenths of a second." Their skin appears to be capable of perception, directly detecting and responding to the color and polarization of light. A pleasant, chatty book on a fascinating subject.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698137677
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/31/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 466,568
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author


Katherine Harmon Courage is an award-winning freelance writer and contributing editor for Scientific American. Her work covers health, biology, food, the environment and general interest stories and has appeared in books, magazines, newspapers and web sites, including Gourmet, Nature and Scientific American.  Read more on her website, www.katherineharmon.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/katherineharmon.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Really good read!

    This book is really an enjoyable read even if you are only a bystander on the subject matter. Recommended read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Hmm

    I am fascinated by octopuses and I enjoyed learning even more about these complex creatures. But the receipes and the author's delight in eating octopus were unexpected and to me unwelcome.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    I like octopi!

    Should i read this?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)