Coral Reefs: Cities under the Sea

Coral Reefs: Cities under the Sea

by Richard C. Murphy

Hardcover(New Edition)

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The most fascinating aspects of coral reefs relate to how corals and reef residents meet the challenges of survival and live together.

The focus of this book is on how a coral reef functions, the jobs of individual residents, and how they collectively create a sustainable community. The author explores how solar energy powers the reef, how raw materials are used efficiently and waste is recycled, why biodiversity is security, and how everything is connected. There are also many insights into the more personal lives of reef residents-some are as strange as any science fiction. By viewing coral reefs in the context of a human city, one can more easily appreciate the creative ways reef communities operate; they neither undermine their own survival nor that of other communities elsewhere. In other words, a variety of species collectively enhances the survival of the entire community.

Dr. Murphy sees reef communities existing in a dynamic equilibrium where forces of competition, destruction, and decay are balanced by cooperation, repair, and rejuvenation. There are lessons for those of us who are concerned about making our own communities more sustainable. The subject matter is serious, but it is not taken so seriously that it isn't fun.

About the Author:

Richard C. Murphy, Ph.D., is a marine biologist, educator, writer, and photographer. His association with Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his son, Jean-Michel, began in 1968. As chief scientist and expedition researcher, he has worked in some of the most remote regions of the world studying how ecosystems function and how humans interact with the natural system. Dr. Murphy is presently Vice President of Science and Education for Ocean Futures Society. His focus is sustainable resource management in developing countries and the creation of environmental educational programs for young people. Drawing on more than 30 years of exploration and study of a wide variety of ecosystems and cultures, Dr. Murphy states, "I believe a better understanding of how nature works can promote a better appreciation of the value of our natural heritage and help guide the next generation in living more sustainably on the planet." He is physically as well as intellectually dedicated to the sea and his passions include diving, surfing, and kite boarding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780878501380
Publisher: Darwin Press, Incorporated, The
Publication date: 10/28/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 178
Product dimensions: 10.30(w) x 10.46(h) x 0.73(d)

What People are Saying About This

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Here is a scientist, like very few, who you can understand, who dazzles his audience with the fascinating world of the coral reef. His message is conveyed eloquently with words and images.
— President, Ocean Futures Society

George Plimpton

This book is so brilliantly beautiful and informative. One only wishes for scuba gear to become part of Dr. Murphy's coral reefs.

Parry, Zale

With his magnificent narrative and never-before seen underwater photography, Dr. Richard Murphy conveys his exhilaration and excitement of science, the challenge of adventure and the search for preservation of the coral reefs.... In this book, he offers thought provoking, wise, and amusing comparisons of life in coral reefs to life in London, New York, or any other city you might know. Coral Reefs is a gift to all generations who love nature and wish to preserve its beauty.
— Ambassador of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences

Robert N. Ginsburg

How pleased I am to see this marvelous work.... You have produced a most unusual hybrid--part reef text-book, part entertainment, educational, and awe-inspiring.... I can only hope that this volume receives the praise it deserves and that it will be in libraries worldwide to dazzle, inspire, and inform.
— Professor of Marine Geology, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami

Gregor Hodgson

Dr. Richard C. Murphy has combined over 30 years of underwater observation, much of it diving with Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau, with unique photographs to create his brilliant new book. Coral Reefs: Cities Under the Sea. .... The book clearly explains the economic, ecological, and spiritual value of coral reefs and why every human being should be concerned that reefs are facing an unprecedented crisis due to human impacts of over-fishing, pollution, and sedimentation.... Coral Reefs is the best illustrated and most informative book aimed at the general reader that I have read on the subject.
— Director, Reef Check Institute of the Environment, UCLA

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