The Secret Life of Sharks: A Leading Marine Biologist Reveals the Mysteries o

The Secret Life of Sharks: A Leading Marine Biologist Reveals the Mysteries o

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by A. Peter Klimley
     
 

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Marine biologist Pete Klimley swims with the sharks. He was one of the first scientists to free-dive among sharks, and he has spent nearly thirty years studying shark behavior, sometimes swimming in schools of several hundred sharks. From his firsthand observations he has learned that sharks are not the vicious man-eaters that we imagine, but fascinating animals with… See more details below

Overview

Marine biologist Pete Klimley swims with the sharks. He was one of the first scientists to free-dive among sharks, and he has spent nearly thirty years studying shark behavior, sometimes swimming in schools of several hundred sharks. From his firsthand observations he has learned that sharks are not the vicious man-eaters that we imagine, but fascinating animals with complex behaviors.

Most people who think of sharks at all think immediately of great white sharks. But there are more than four hundred species of shark. Dr. Klimley has studied several species, most notably the great white and the hammerhead. (He describes the great white as the athlete among sharks, and the hammerhead as the Ph.D. of the shark world.) In The Secret Life of Sharks Dr. Klimley reveals the significant discoveries he made about hammerhead navigation and great white eating habits. By studying hammerheads gathered around underwater seamounts, Dr. Klimley learned that hammerheads rely on sophisticated tracking of ocean-floor magnetism to navigate. His long-term study of great white sharks off the California coast demonstrated that these huge sharks prefer to eat seals and sea lions because of the energy contained in their fatty bodies. They are selective eaters, not the man-eaters we expect, and they sometimes go weeks between meals. But Dr. Klimley did observe a ritualized behavior that great whites practice in order to avoid deadly disputes over prey that one shark has captured and another wants.

Although we have learned a great deal about shark behavior, says Dr. Klimley, there is much that we do not know. Unfortunately we are destroying these magnificent creatures of the deep through overfishing and degradation of the oceans. Already some populations of sharks have declined steeply.

Vividly written by one of the foremost authorities on sharks, The Secret Life of Sharks is a fascinating account of some of the world's most magnificent animals.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As a professor and author who has appeared in many documentaries, Klimley has become internationally known for his work proving the complexities of shark behavior, most recently as the co-editor of the definitive academic study, Great White Sharks. This wonderful new work is a more personal and thoroughly enjoyable look back on his career, which highlights Klimley's observations about the elaborate social rituals and communication skills of sharks. When Klimley first began his career, more than 30 years ago, he was an unknown 23-year-old "typical hippie" who believed that sharks were far more complex than the image of a "dumb feeding machine." This book charts his many exciting experiences since then, from his early years as one of the first young marine researchers to argue that it was important-as well as safe-to dive freely among hammerhead sharks to understand them, through his innovative experiments to understand how the great white shark chooses and captures its prey. Along the way, Klimley deftly explains such shark-related issues as predatory strategies and evolutionary history, and his insistent study of shark migration patterns, which he argues are essential to know for the future conservation of the species. (July) Forecast: Klimley's lively and thoughtful first-person account will most likely tap into the popularity of the many specials about sharks on PBS and the Discovery Channel. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This book should have been titled The Secret Life of A. Peter Klimley. While it contains information about sharks, the primary focus is the author's marine biology career, scientific methods, and experiences studying hammerheads and great whites in the Caribbean, Baja California, and the Farallon Islands off the California coast near San Francisco. This is a shame because Klimley is a leading expert on shark behavior. While he does provide a good scientific bibliography on shark behavior for the interested reader, a better choice would be John Musick and Beverly McMillan's excellent The Shark Chronicles: A Scientist Tracks the Consummate Predator, which offers more scientific details on shark behavior. Still, young people interested in adventurous careers will enjoy reading Klimley's account. Suitable for public, high school, and college libraries where science careers and sharks are popular.-Margaret Rioux, MBL/WHOI Lib., Woods Hole, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Jean-Michel Cousteau President, Ocean Futures Society When it comes to sharks, Dr. Peter Klimley has answered the true call of adventure — to see for himself, up close. His pioneering work reveals sharks' secrets, including their decline, and puts to rest the myth of the shark as a mindless feeding machine. Equally important, his story reminds us that fear is never a good guide. His direct, informed observations make for good science, and for good reading.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439104316
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
06/17/2008
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,189,636
File size:
4 MB

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What People are saying about this

Jean-Michel Cousteau
Puts to rest the myth of the shark as a mindless feeding machine. . . . Good science, good reading.
President, Ocean Futures Society
Peter Benchley
Pete Klimley is one of the world's leading experts on sharks, and The Secret Life of Sharks is a fascinating look at these most remarkable creatures.

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