The Dance of the Flying Gurnards: America's Coastal Curiosities and Beachside Wonders

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The bizarre, bottom-dwelling gurnard resembles a flying fish, but contrary to popular belief and local lore, its winglike fins propel it in search of food or puff out to warn a predator, rather than allow it to take flight. This is just one of the entries in THE DANCE OF THE FLYING GURNARDS, the first informative and engaging sourcebook to introduce beachgoers, waterfront residents, vacationers, and boaters to the natural charms and menaces of the three North American coastlines. It describes basic and surprising...
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Overview

The bizarre, bottom-dwelling gurnard resembles a flying fish, but contrary to popular belief and local lore, its winglike fins propel it in search of food or puff out to warn a predator, rather than allow it to take flight. This is just one of the entries in THE DANCE OF THE FLYING GURNARDS, the first informative and engaging sourcebook to introduce beachgoers, waterfront residents, vacationers, and boaters to the natural charms and menaces of the three North American coastlines. It describes basic and surprising marine phenomena, celebrating what is observable by people who watch, touch, or float upon the sea. The topics, described in lay terms, are rich with legend, science, and beauty in the spirit of Steinbeck and Ricketts who planned-but never completed -a seacoast guidebook filled with valuable information and literary whimsy. John Waldman touches on such subjects as: .

Night swimming and "lighting up" among swarms of bioluminescent plankton .
The annual shoreside ritual of giant spawning horseshoe crabs .
A phenomenon in Mobile Bay called "the Jubilee," where thousands upon thousands of fish throw themselves onto the shore
How and where red tides occur, and why they are dangerous

Waldman also includes his own personal anecdotes and the stories of fellow mariners who have seen the strangest and most beautiful miracles the coast has to offer. THE DANCE OF THE FLYING GURNARDS is perfect for anyone who has enjoyed the essays of Stephen Jay Gould, or who loves the coast and wants to know more.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585743681
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN WALDMAN is an ichthyologist, fisherman, and writer. He is the author of Heartbeats in the Muck: A Dramatic Look at the History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor, which won the New York Society Library's Book of the Year Award for Natural History. He lives in Sea Cliff, New York, and works in Manhattan at the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research.
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Table of Contents

While no TOC is listed persay, "Chapters" are listed alphabetically and such topics as Ambergris, Clam Strandings, Horseshoe Crab Spawning Events, to Sea Beans, Traveling Dunes, and Whirlpools are featured.
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