Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Book Review: Octopus, Seahorse, Jellyfish

You know I am an absolute sucker for all things National Geographic, but this one is maybe my favorite one! 

Octopus · Seahorse · Jellyfish

In this mesmerizing book of photography, acclaimed photographer David Liittschwager reveals the unnerving beauty of three notoriously mysterious sea creatures--the jellyfish, octopus, and seahorse--and how they perceive the world.

The jellyfish, the octopus, and the seahorse are among the most wondrous species on Earth--as well as some of the most difficult to document using traditional photography methods. Enter celebrated photographer David Liittschwager, who has spent decades developing specialized portraiture techniques to capture these creatures’ pulsating bioluminescence, translucent bodies, and ethereal movements.

This luminous collection showcases 200 of Liittschwager’s most revealing photographs, paired with penetrating essays that explain how a creature without a brain or without bones perceives the world. Bestselling science writers Elizabeth Kolbert, Jennifer Holland, and Olivia Judson explain the biology and advanced cognitive abilities of these spineless denizens of the deep, exquisitely evoking their unnerving yet undeniable charisma. In these pages, you’ll glimpse a seahorse only half an inch tall, a moon jelly spinning off a snowflake-shaped clone, and the blinking comb jelly, which may be the most ancient living animal on Earth.

Both enlightening and profound, this enchanting book documents the expanding frontiers of marine science, creating a powerful testament to the value and beauty of these little-seen--and endangered--species.
Ever since elementary school, I've always been incredibly fascinated, and slightly scared of, jellyfish. I remember doing a report on them once and they have become the first thing I look for at every aquarium I go to. I could watch them all day. I should also confess the I get freaked out when I see an octopus. They are incredible to watch, just their fluidity as they move makes them seem more liquid than anything. Their tentacles are weird though, and I've always wondered what they would feel like, but also I'm pretty sure I would completely flip out if I touched one. I also love seahorses, they seem so delicate but strong. I once saw one give birth at an aquarium and it blew my mind to see all of the tiny seahorses come right out, and on page 130, there is a photo of just that and it is absolutely amazing. 

This book is 250-something pages full of incredible photos and I found myself paging through this over and over again. Penelope and Lucy are now obsessed with it, and we have talked about each animal and compared them, and talked about what we think about each. The book isn't just all photos though, there is information a plenty about each animal so you can learn along the way as well. 

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and National Geographic for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review. Anytime one of these comes to my mailbox, it's an absolute happy day for our family!
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