|CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS
Marine sciences - Australia, and Australian authors.
Please note: The books are listed for interest only, and not offered for sale.
It would be ridiculously ambitious to claim that this
list is anything but superficial. It simply lists a few of my own titles
and those that I have become aware, without any claim to the scientific
or monetary value of the book.
FIELD GUIDE TO AUSTRALIAN MARINE LIFE
Rigby Limited, Sydney etc. 1977.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 190 x 130mm, common and scientific name index. One of Neville's earliest publications (but not the first), and a most popular book in that it provided a concise reference book on the subject, certainly one of the first of the populr marine natural sciences books for the diver/layman. Now well out of print of course but still a useful reference.
FIELD GUIDE TO THE MARINE LIFE OF SOUTH-EASTERN AUSTRALIA
Rigby Publishers, Sydney etc. 1981.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 167 pages, colour plates.
The fly blurb indicates that bthis is the first visual identification guide to be produced in colour on marine animals inhabiting the waters of south-eastern Australia - ie, the temperate waters of South-Australia through to northern N.S.W. and Tasmania. It contains families of some 200 species, 'the majority of which have never before been published in colour'. Still a valuable identification and handbook text by one opf Australia's great marine biologists and diver.
HANDBOOK TO AUSTRALIAN SEASHELLS.
On Shores East to West and North to South.
There have been many magnificent books produced on seashells over the years. Many are too large to handle as identification guides - coffee table books that should remain in the living room. This handbook, by Australia's top conchologist (is that the right word?), and now Chairman of Western Australia's Marine Parks Authority, is a very useful identification guide suitable for use in the field and at home or office. Animals are identified with common and scientific names. It includes over 375 species of the most common seashells found along our seashores. Each one is illustrated with a colour photograph, generally four to eight photographs per page. Text is concise, on the opposite page to the image, so maybe four to eight paragraphs indicating its natural history, habitat, largest size attained. The dangers of handling some shells with live animals inside is indicated.
And on this point, I have to tell you this true story. Many decades ago, when the late cinematographer Walt Deas was dive master at Heron Island, a young tourist was wandering the shores when he spotted a nice shell. With a view to keeping it as a souvenir, he placed it down his swimming togs, having no bag to carry it in. On nearing the resort he gave a bloood curdling scream and dropped his togs to reveal that his manlihood had been bitten - by a blue-ringed octopus. The initial unfortunate humour of the incident turned immediately into action. Nobody wanted to remove the poison by what was then a traditional means of so doing. The young man was flown by helicopter to Gladstone and hospitalised. Fortunately he fully recovered and returned to the island several days later to a hero's welcome. It would appear from medical advice given to the young man that had it not been his most treasured possession that was bitten he may not have survived. I believe he refused to show his wound to anyone, except to one pretty waitress in the restaurant but thats another story. Of course, the motto is, don't put a shell down your jocks, and always check if any animal is still inside even if it appears that the original animal has long departed.
PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE TO SEASHORE LIFE OF AUSTRALIA.
A very neat book, very handy size at 10 cm x 19 cm, with clear plastic protective cover over soft boards; full colour, 144 pages. Excellent for on-site identification - can slip into your pocket. After a brief discourse on wave energy, rocky shore habitats, and biology, the book enters the identification sectio withgenerally two or three photos per page, a diversity map, and brief text in small lettering. Species covered include algae, sponges, anemones, worms, barnacles, crabs, abalone, sea hares, bivales, sea stars, urchins, cunjevoi, and others.
CRUSTACEANS IN COLOR
Anthony Healy and John Yaldwyn
A.H. & A.W. Reed Pty L:td. Sydney.First published 1970.
Hardcover, 180 x 175 cm format, full colour throughout, 112 pages.
Another excellent small format marine guide from the publishers, one of a series of similar format books - bit not numbered or indicated as a series. Each animal is illustrated with a fuill page photograph for asy identification. The species are divided into subgroups, thus shrimps, barnacles, prawns, crayfish, crabs, decapods. A very useful guide despite its age as the species have not changed. [pjs]
MARINE FISHES IN COLOUR
A.H. & A.W. Reed Pty L:td. Sydey.First published 1974. Reprint edition 1980.
There is no difference in the two editions except that the first edition has a plain cloth cover with a dustjacket, whilst the 1980 reprint has a laminated board cover with no dust jacket.
Hardcover, 180 x 175 cm format, full colour throughout, 96 pages.
From the fly blurb of the first edition: Australian Marine Fishes in Colour is a remarkable collection of marine fishes photographed in natural conditions beneath Australian seas—forty-eight species from the east, west, north and south of Australia. Many species are illustrated in colour for the first time, showing their true life colours and habitats. The species are displayed in scientific order each having a family name, common name, scientific name, the author and date of description. Australian Marine Fishes in Colour provides the reader with a glimpse into the natural history of each species represented. Text includes information on habits, food, behaviour, edibility, size, range, etc. Throughout the author's life, fishing and fish have meant many things. In his childhood fishing was a serious occupation necessary to supplement the family's small income. Today his feelings for fish and life itself are perhaps best expressed in the following extract: 'When a fish is hooked and brought up on the deck its colours begin to change, some go lighter, others darker. Before long the sparkling hues and patterns are transformed by death into pallid insipid imitations. Throughout the pages of Australian Marine Fishes in Colour there are no reflections of death, only life-captured images from a world which is fast emerging from shades of ignorance and fear: a world which may well hold the key to man's very survival.' [pjs]
First ed. 1997
Revised ed. 2000
Second ed. 2008.
Hard and soft the same.
The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters.
Graham J. Edgar
New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd. .
First published in hardcover in 1997 by Reed Books. Revised edition by Reed New Holland in 2000.
Second edition by New Holland in 2008 in hardcover. Identical reprint 2012 in softcover.
Actually - the 'revised edition' of 2000 should have been designated a Second edition as it was comprehensively revised and redesigned. Thus the designated second edition should be the Third edition.
"A new and greatly expanded edition of this successful and respected book with over 1500 photographs, including 1000 new images, and current information about 1450 species. Australian Marine Life continues to be the definitive book on the unique and spectacular animals and plants of Australian waters". That should read ... of temperate Australian waters, and of course it is indeed the definitive work. 624 pages, soft cover.
From previous editions: At last, a true encyclopedia of Australian temperate marine animals and plants - superbly presented in a clear layout with over 1300 colour photographs. Divers and marine enthusiasts now have a single volume that covers evrrything from tiny lichens to dolphins and whales. As there has been a dearth of material on temperate marine invertebrates, this book will remain in use at least for the rest of my natural lifetime. The 544 pages are dived into the five relevant kingdoms, including the tiny protists (no, they are not the rowdy people who gather at parliament house), and the kingdoms representing the plants, animals, fungi and even bacteria. The majority of the book is concerned with the animal kingdom which of course includes the invertebrates, fishes and mammals. (The taxonomic chart is the best I have seen, spread over a double page, showing the kingdom down to the class.) A short introduction to each phylum and class precedes the more descriptive families and species. The text is concise yet informative with habitat, distribution and size detailed for each species. A glossary and an extensive selected bibliography, and index complete the book. Harcover, dustjacket, full colour and mono diagrams. The author is a respected marine scientist who has worked in Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia on a number of important projects. This book is a must. See update details (revisions and corrections) between the first edition hardcover and the second edition (revised) softcover.
Their Natural History and Conservation
William Collins Sons & Co. London, Sydney etc.
First published in 1972.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 220 pages, mono photographs, maps, index, references. Author was one of the world's experts on sea turtles, particularly those off the Queensland coast. He covers th seven species of sea turtlesin a book of four parts: the Turtle, The Lives of Turtles, Turthle Research, and Turtles and Man. Certainly a definitive work on the subject.
OCEAN OF LIFE. Stephen Parish.
Published in 1974 by Wedneil Publications, Victoria, Australia.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 128 pages, full colour throughoput.
The author is now virtually known throughout Australia - Steve Parish Publishing produce a wide range of travel and educational material of iutstanding quality, based predominantly on the huge photographic library shot by Parish since he 'retired' from the Navy. He was one of Australia's pioneer underwater photographers, and has since extended his expertise into location and wildlife photography, the basis of his company. Ocean of Life stands on its on merit, one of the first colour pubications on Australian marine life (shot mainly in the temperate waters of Jervis Bay). In spite of many more recent publications on Australian marine life, Ocean of Life is still an excellent book, with superb photographs.
Walter Deas and Clarrie Lawler
A.H. & A.W. Reed. Sydney & Melbourne, 1970.
[Yellow diver cover] Hardcover, dustjacket, square format 180mm, 110 pages, about fifty full page colour photographs, bibliography and index.
[Red top cover] Laminated boards, no dustjacket, all other details the same. There is no indication insdide the book as to which book was published first. I assume the 'yellow cover', as I have a signed birthday gift dated 1971. I could be wrong.
A delightful book, very interesting and a useful reference in its day - one of the first 'diving books' in Australia. Chapters include 'The Scuba Diver', and the development of scuba; Animals of the sea floor; Dangerous marine animals' Diving for scieence; Underwater photography; The sea at Night; Spearfishintg and shell collecting; Wrecks and Treasure trove; and Into the Abyss - the next steps. The author even back in 1970 were well known respected Australian divers, with Walt specialising in underwater photography and cinematography, and Clarrie on the marine sceinces as a member of the Royal Zoological Society since 1959. (And both very nice genetlemen). [pjs]
FISH OF AUSTRALIA
Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries Division. 1977
Softcover, 122 pages, colour drawings of species.
This is a actually a cook book. The recipes given are by the famous Margaret Fulton, Cookery Editor for the Woman's Day magazine fdrom en tries for the National Fish Recipe Competition held in conjunction with the First Auystralia Fisheries Exposition in Melbourne, September 1976. Add to this the exceptional drawings by the even more famous artist Robert Ingpen, and you have a rather unique book. There are about fifty recipes in the book, most of them for the various types of fish, but also for eel, squid, crayfish (lobster), crab, prawns and yabbies, oysters, scallops, razor fish (a mussel), everyday mussels, pips and cockels, blacklip mother-of-pearl, and of course abalone. The varierty of recipes sound superb, imaginative, delicious. I have never had much luck with abalone but maybe I should try again. Trouble is, as I get oder, they will probably be able to outcrawl me. Still, I could knock them off the rocks with my zimmer frame. [pjs]
OF AUSTRALIAN WATERS A Field Guide to ...
Diana Jones and Gary Morgan.
This is a complete cover of Australia's known crustaceans. Not only is it an excellent identification guide but it also provides a wealth of knowledge of the life and habitats of crab, prawns, crayfish and other crustacans. And no, there are no cooking instructions. Here you will find some very strange and smart life cycles and adaptations, and some very curious behaviours. It also features recently discovered subterranean crustaceans, some of which have never - literally - seen the light of day. The photographs are excellent - clear and in full colour, and the line drawings clearly identfy the vrious features of species and sexes. I never really knew what scampi were!! Softcover, 224 pages, full colour, index, scientific and common names, extensive references and glossary.
DANGEROUS MARINE ANIMALS OF THE INDO-PACIFIC REGION
Diving Medial Centre Monograph on Identification First Aid and Medical Treatment.
Dr. Carl Edmonds.
Wedneil Publications, Melbourne, 1975. ISBN 0 909 853 48 7.
Hardcover, printed cloth boards, dustjacket, 235 pages, full colour throughout, index.
There were apparently two paperback reprints, in 1976 and 1978, and a second edition in hardcover in 1981.
Then we have:
MARINE ANIMAL INJURIES TO MAN.
Sequel to Dangerous marine Animals of the Indo-Pacific Region.
Wedneil Publications, Melbourne, 1984. ISBN 0 949585 40 8.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 2-4 pages, full colour throughout, index.
Well, not really a 'sequel' to the original edition. You see, in those days the Australin Government paid a book bountry for those books published and printed in Australi, to encourage the industry of course. But to get the book bountry it had to be a 'new' book - and who woul know if only the title changed. So the publishers get a cheaper book (and perhaps also the public but I doubt it), the government is mildly frauded and no one is the wiser. The books are identical except for, perhaps, a few revisions, and for some reason the chapter on Drowning for Doctos hs been ommitted in the 1884 book. So much for a sequel!
Wedneil Publications went down the gurgler in the early 1980s and a new player came into the game, under yet another title.
DANGEROUS MARINE CREATURES
Dr. Carl Edmonds.
Reed Books Pty Ltd, 1989. ISBN 0 7301 0214 9.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 192 pags, colour, index.
Although much the same ind etail as the previous two 'editions', we now we have a substantial change to the layout of the book. It is more 'professionally' produced, and had been professionally edited. We no longer have jellyfish - they are now coelenterates. We have gone upmrked it seems. But the content and value of the book is predominantly the same.
I can recall that the book was remaindered for some time, and Reed Books obviously had no interest in reprinting, or perhaps the contract ran out and Edmonds decided to go elsewhere. And that 'elsewhere' was to the USA. We now have (and it is still in print):
DANGEROUS MARINE CREATURES
Field Guide for Medical Treatment.
Dr. Carl Edmonds.
Best Publishing Company, Arizona, USA, 1995. ISBN 0-941332-39-X.
Softcover, 276 pages, full colour, index.
We have now reverted back to the original chapters and text with extensive revisions. And although now softcover and smaller in physical book size it is three times the retail cost for any Australian purchaser - thts the problms for Autralian readers when Australian authors head to th USA for publication. But, and particularly in this instance, who can blm them.
Okay, what is it all about. This is an excellent book, a must for anyone connected with th sea, particularly divers, and although the subject matter has been covered before (Halstead et al), this is a most important work. Here we hve th marine creatures that sting, bite, poison, and otherwise affect a nice sunny day at the beach or on the reef. Th curren editions decsribes th naimal, its distribution, how you may come in contact with it, first id if you do, and clinical features. As they say - don't leave home without it.
Aquatic Survival Guide, with a comprehensive First Aid Management Section.
Few books can be regarded as a musst for all divers - but this is one of them. Not only does it escribe the sea animals that may give us some concern, but it shows how to prevent injury, nd if that is not successful, to treat an injury. Some of the animlas may surprise you as being dangerous - all the more reason to know the environment in which you are diving. Covers the biting animals, the poisoners, the venomous stingers, and other must-know information such as dermatitis and malaria. Exceptionally well laid out with picto-graphs for ease of knowledge.
Softcover, full colour , 96pages.
REEF AND POOL - An Introduction to Marine Invertebrates
F.E.Waldron and J.Brouwer. Foreword by Dr. R.W. George, Curator of Invertebrates, Western Australian Museum.
Georgian House, Melbourne, 1964.
Hardcover, 79 pages, "with a coloured frontispiece, 16 pages of plates, and 11 diagrams in the text."; index, glossary, mono photographs and drawings.
I iwsh I had found this book earlier in my diving career as I may not have remained so ingnoraant of marine life so so long. From the fly: "The authors say: When taking up the hobby of skin diving and reef exploration some years ago, we experienced considerable difficulty in finding answers to the 101 questions which presented themselves - particularly on the subject of marine zoology. This book is an attempt to supply this information in a compact and easily readable form for the benefit of the increasing number of people now becoming interested in this pastime. The book is profusely illustrated, by means of photographs and diagrams, and offers guidance to collectors of marine specimens in many fields; as well as detailed scientific information in simple language about all forms of marine invertebrates common to Australian waters." The authors conclude: "The avowed purpose of this book was to encourage you to ‘enter the entrancing dream world of the sea and to learn something of its inhabitants'. If we have succeeded only in arousing your interest and in giving you something to think about on your next beach ramble, it will have made the writing well worth while. But, as with the study of any hobby, you will find that the more you learn the more you will realise how much there is yet to learn. You have, in fact, not yet opened the door but have merely peeped through the keyhole." Considering that the book was published in 1964, the Perth-based authors would have been part of the early recreational diving scene in Western Australia. [ps]
OF THORNS - The Death of the Great Barrier Reef?
Theo W. Brown with Keith Willey.
Published by Angus & Robertson (Publishers) Pty Ltd., Sydney etc. 1972.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 128 pages, mono and colour photographs, index.
This would have been quite a controversial and important book in its time, and may well have been the book to awaken the science community to the starfish that still causes devastation to the Great Barrier Reef. From the fly: The coral jewels of the Great Barrier Reef-one of the wonders of the world-are menaced by the depredations of the Crown of Thorns starfish, which has .already destroyed large areas of the reef. For the past ten years the plague has been allowed to spread uncontrolled as the Crown of Thorns multiplies and the migrating hordes move from the reefs they have devoured to fresh fields. The problem has now become so serious that the survival of this marine wonderland is in doubt. The destruction of the hard living corals would be a catastrophe that, apart from the loss of a natural treasure, could disrupt the ecology of the entire Pacific region. This book is a warning and a plea for action by a marine research off icer who knows the Reef intimately as a diver and photographer. His report in words and pictures gives a startling close-up of the ravages of the Crown of Thorns. [ps]
UNDER AT THE PROM.
Marg O'Toole & Malcolm Turner.
A very well presented book covering the marine life off Wilsons Promontory (south-east Victoria), one of the most beautiful and prolific temperate water dive sites in the world. Also covers dive sites and shipwrecks.
Definitely recommended reading.
Softcover,110 pages, full colour.
OF MARINE ANIMALS
Neville Coleman. Editorial Consultants: Isobel Bennett, Dr. Andrew Campbell, Professor Michael Hadfield. Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1991.
Hardcover, dustjacket, larger than A4 (240 x 310mm), 324 pages, full colour throughout, index, glossary.
Coleman is well known to Australian divers for the many excellent publications that he had produced over the years, on Australian and western Pacific marine life. This book is an ambitious project as it purports to cover the world, something that cannot be done in any depth in the one volume, no matter how large and well produced. This it admits in an itropduction, advising the reader that it is a general visual guide displaying only a representative selection of known species or genera. But in so doing, it still manages about 10,000 species. And inded it covers all manner of marine animals, from the tiniest invertebrates through to the fishes and mammals. A very useful book. For some unfathomable reason, but quite common in the run-of-the-mill publishing industry, the book was quickly sold out but did not go into a reprinting. This is more a reflction on the publishing company than anything else, the prim objectiv of making a quick dollar and moving on to some other title. Nevermind that the book will not dat for many decades, and there is a demand even if a specialist one. So the authors miss out on royalties and the public their knowledge. [ps]
AND FISHERIES OF AUSTRALIA
Angus & Robertson, Sydney. No date. Preface to second edition 1955.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 243 pages, colour and mono prints. In two parts - Part One, The Fishes; Part Two, Fisheries and Angling, covering commercial fishing in Australia at the time, pond culture, shark and their products, underwater spear-gun fishing, Australian aborriginal fishing, big-game angling (shame!!!), freshwater fisheries
A Personal Survival Guide.
As the author states on the cover, 'Prevention is better than cure!'. The book is divided into three sections, with chapters within each: Dangerous Sea Creatures, Venomous Sea Creatures, Poisonous Sea Creatures. Each 'creature' described includes a mention of Precautions, but no cure is mentioned if the precautions are not heeded. Coleman's useful book will not prvent you from being bitten in half by a great white if you happen to be in the wong spot at the wrong time, but it will prevent you from being stung, jabbed or bittenm due to ignorance of underwater mrine life. This is a must for all divers.
Softcover, 64 pages, full colour.
OF EDEN. The Killer Whales of Twofold Bay.
|LIVING TOGETHER IN THE SEA
Dr. Leon P. Zann.
Published by T.F.H. Publications, Inc.Ltd, 1980. ISBN 0-87666-500-8.
Hardcover, laminated boards, 416 pages, colour and mono photographs.
Although not a particularly old book, it is nevrtheless an important work, being one of the first books on marine symbiosis. It covers the various forms of symbiotic relationships - non parasitic associations and parasitism - in all forms of marine life. A remarkable book for its information.
HOWE ISLAND MARINE PARK
Sea Shore to Sea Floor. A World Heritage Wildlife Guide.
Ninety-six pages, 750 full colour photographs, covering the major marine life from algae to marine mammals. An an excellent identification and information softcover guide to one of the most beutiful islands in the Pacific.
MOLLUSCS OF VICTORIA
J. Hope Macpherson (Curator of Molluscs, National Museum of Victoria); C.J. Gabriel (Honorary Associaye of Conchology, National Museum of Victoria). Drawings by G.J.Browning.
Melbourne University Press, in association with The National Museum of Victoria. 1961.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 474 pages, index, glossary, bibliography, mono drawings throughout.
Still a most valuable reference, an authoritive text on the subject suitable for academics, students of the marine sciences, collectors and divers. From the front fly blurb: The simple collecting of sea-shells is a fascinating pastime that gives untold pleasure to thousands of people. Of these, many progress to deeper study and try to learn all they can about the varied kinds, how to recognize them, their scientific as well as their common names, and their relationship each to the other. For both the beginner and the specialist this handbook will be of great value. It is generally simple and non-technical enough for the newcomer, but it contains much information that the specialist will find worth while. To assist the layman, a comprehensive glossary explains the technical terms used in the scientific descriptions. Detailed descriptions and approximately 500 illustrations cover all the common species of Victorian shells, together with their range and distribution. Their points of difference are stated simply, and any feature of special interest is discussed, so identification is made easy. A systematic list of the remaining species is given with their authors and recorded Victorian localities. There is a definition of each family and of the principal genera including the author of the genus and type species.
ENCYCLOPEDIA - Catalog of Asia/Indo-Pacific Sea Slugs.
Any diver or marine life naturalist and enthusiast who does not know of Neville Coleman had obviously never read a book on the subject of Australis's rich and diverse marine life, so this book will not interest them. But those who have an insatiable appetite to learn about life under the sea will know that Neville's work over the past four decades has been prolific - and he continues to produce more extensive publications as well as the smaller ‘introductory' texts on marine life that he is so popular for. The Nudibranchs Encyclopedia is one of his largest, and best, works, with over three thousand images of the delightfully exquisite Nudibranch family, and perhaps the less atrractive, yet equally exotic and unusual Opisthobranchs family. There are, generally, eight photographs of 70 x 40mm each per page, with limited but important text of four lines each covering the common and scientific name, general adult size, location found with brief description of habitat, general comment, and photographer. Many of the photographs have been taken by Neville, but not all of course, with many other contributors from within Australia and overseas, hence the encyclopedia is extremely comprehensive, and thus a superb identification guide. I am constantly intrigued by natur'es incredible diversity to provide so many different, by way of shape, size and colour, or a simple slug with exposed ‘lungs'. Why so many species? Why so many colours? I'm not sure that Nevile answers these questions, but there is an extensive forty page section at the beginning of the book which describes the biology and natural history of the animals, answering questions on habitat sight, smell, ‘hering', taste, touch and other senses; respiration, locomotion and general mobility, ‘tailing', burropwing, ‘mantle flapping', food and feeding, reroduction, defence and mimicry. This is a wonderful contribution to the vaste library of Australian marine life, and well worth the place on any marine enthusiast's shelf. Hardcover, laminated boards (ie no dust jacket), 416 pages, full colour throughoput, scientific-name index, glossary of terms, reference bibliography.
OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC
Softcover, 64 pages, includes natural history then some 150 species with full colour photograph.
As a basic introduction to order Nudibranchia, Coleman's colourful book fills the bill admirably. The introduction covers the natural history of the ‘nudibranch' in sufficient detail to aappreciate the 200 or so colour photographs of the species that follow. The photographs are clear, the text limited but sufficient for identification, giving scientific name, food, depth, location, and an occurance ‘rating'. Softcover, 64 pages, full colour.There is a dearth of information on nudibranchs, particularly on Southern water species, so Coleman's small but useful title is most appreciated.
AND GREAT BARRIER REEF SHELLS
O.H.Rippingale and D.F.McMichael
The Jacaranda Press, Brisbane 1961.
Hardcover, dustjacket, (Cloth cover is also printed); A4 size, 210 pages, colour plates.
From the fly blurb: This book deals with those members of the Phylum Mollusca which are so prolific on the Reef and the nearby coastline that this area has become the Mecca of shell collectors from all over the world.
The beautiful illustrations are the work of Mr. O. H. Rippingale, a talented water-colourist and keen conchologist, who has spent many years collecting in the area. The text has been prepared by Dr. D. F. McMichael, Curator of Shells at the Australian Museum in Sydney. In a most informative introduction Dr. McMichael describes the various classes of shells and teils us something of the life of the animals which inhabit them —the scallops that swim away when danger threatens, the action of the poisonous- dart of the deadly cone shell. . . . He explains the system of classification, how scientific names are chosen, how to collect shells, how to clean them, how to start and arrange a shell collection. The absolute beginner will find nothing formidable or bewildering in these pages.
The twenty-nine plates depict in full colour about six hundred different shells. Each plate is followed by a. detailed description of each shell telling where it was found, its range, its size, etc.
BIRDS AND OTHERS OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC.
A beautifully produced book that fills a gap in the publications of marine life.
Softcover, full colour, 64 pages.
SEA LIFE SOUTH OF 30 degrees SOUTH
Doubleday, Sydney.1987. ISBN 0 86824 269 1.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 288 pages, full colour throught, usually one photo of species per pages, index.
And yet another excllent title by Neville Coleman that quickly goes out of print and is not reprintd by the publishers despite the demand. I think it is one of his finest books, and yet it is very difficult to obtain - well, thats understandable I suppose. It is a pity tht the publishers cannot think beyong the immediate quick sale, and keep a book like this in print for many decades.
CUCUMBERS OF NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
L.R.G. Cannon and H. Silver.
Published by the Queensland Museum, Brisbane. 1986.
Softcover, stiff boards, sixty pages, mono drawings and four colour plates, glossary, bibliography, index.
A detailed academic paper on these rather ugly creatures which can be quite dangerous if improperly used! They belong to the family of holothurians, and during the early decades of the last century were an export item of considerable value, considered a delicacy by the Chinese who found that they tend to loose obvious characteristics when soft boiled and preserved. That's all very well for our Asian neighbours who are known for their unorthodox tastes, but I personally don't feel like eating a creature that literally spills its guts when poked, and allows a small fish co-inhabitate in the fishes arse. I mean, symbiosis is fine but this is just plain disgusting. Contents (of the book) include: anatomy, taxonomic account, biology and the fishery of beche-de-mer which these cuddly creatures are also named. The book actually includes recipes, which includes soaking then for twelve hours (no doubt in fresh water eh!), simmer them for two hours, soak them again for two hours, and only then use them in a number of cantonese dishes - which I must say sound quite delicious. That they are dangerous creatures is given by the fact that one nearly drowned my brother-in-law. Whilst in Vanuatu with me on my wedding and honeymoon (don't ask), I was snorkelling with Greg when I spotted a sea cumber on the seabed. I grabbed it gently and tucked it under the lower park of my trunks to rememble - well, I need not describe it - and beckoned said borther-in-law to look underwater. He came back to the surface spluttering and choking and was going down again for the third time (perhaps my choice of words is unfortunate) when I grabbed him and dragged him back to the boat. It is indeed quite difficult to laugh underwater. He has forgiven me. Actually, for all my facieciousness, they are quite tasty when well prepared. [pjs]
SHELLS OF SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA.
A nicely put together book, suggested as the the first popular colour book ever published on shells of South-East Australia. Covers some 414 shell species. Non-technical without being over-simplified, the book will interest divers, marine naturalisrts and beachcombers.
Full page colour plates with 6 to 20 shells per page. Very well laid out.
SLUGS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Fred Wells & Clayton Bryce.
WA Museum, Perth WA.
Pity about the name - this is a book on sea slugs, seahares, pteropods, the beautiful bubble shells, nudibranchs and other beautiful marine creatures of the Class Gastropoda, many of which occur in the eastern states. Nudibranchs contribute to fifty percent of the book and as there is a little general literature on the Order, particularly Australian species, this title is most welcome. Softcover, 184p, full colour.
They are both feared and admired, but usually the former, and with a venom a hundred times more potent than a terrestial King Cobra, it is no wonder. Yet they are relativaley harmless and under normal circumstances, divers need not fear an attack. Their curiosity however makes it appear sometimes as if they are aggressive. The author is a world expert on sea snakes. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was on the organising team of the annual Oceans Congresses back in the 1970s in Melbourne, a charming man of much knowledge. Because of his time at the University of Queensland and University of New England (Armadale, NSW), most of the book is based on Australian sea snakes, making it all the more relevant. Chapters include Distribution and Biodiversity, Natural History, Feeding, Enemiwes, Ecology, Diving Adaptations, Venom, and interaction with us humans. I know of no more detailed book on the subject than this. First published in 1978, then revisied in 1999, a few new copies have turned up. Softcover, 148 pages, mono photographs and colour plates, index, extensive bibliography.
|SEAWEEDS OF AUSTRALIA
Text by I.G.Christianson, M.N.Clayton, B.M.Allender.
Photographs by Bruce Fuhrer.
A.H. & A.W.Reed Pty Ltd, Sydney, 1981. Hardcover, dustjacket, 112 pages. Colour, index, bibliography.
Chapters include: Collecting andPreservation of Seaweeds, Blue-Green Algae, Red Algae, Brown Algae, Green Algae, Sea Grasses.
This is not an identification guide - indeed, it is far more useful as it describes the biology and habitat of the various types of shells, the composition, form, growth, and biology of shells, folowed by a description of the various groups of shells, and a chapter opn cephalopds. and is thus far more useful.
Hardcover, dustwrapper, 98 pages, medium format, some colour plates, excellent diagrams.
FRINGE OF THE SEA.
First published 1966 by Rigby Limited. Reprinted and revised edition 1974. ISBN 0 85179 795 4.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 260 pages, many mono photographs, a few colour plates.
In seven chapers, covering sponges, coelenterates, marine worms, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, and The Living Coral Reef. Still a useful work.This well known marine scientist, student and collaborator of the famoud W.J.Dakin, is an exceptional naturalist and author. She collaborated with Dakin on his famous Australian Seashores. Hr own book was first published in 1966 and has gone through many editions. Chapters include Sponges, Coelenterates, Marine Worms, Crustaceans, Molluscs, Echinoderms, and The Living Reef. Covers both temperate and tropical seas. Hardcover, dustjacket, 260 pages, many mono plates, some colour. The book is now well out of print but we occasionally have a copy in stock.
MARINE AND FRESH WATER FISHES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Trevor D, Scott. (Curator of Fishes, South Australian Museum).
Government Printer, Adelaide. 1962.
Stiff board covers, perfect bound, 338 pages. Mono photographs and line drawings.
Scientific and common name index; scientific papwer references. . Glossary. Classification of the Fishes of South Australia..
Guide fopr Students. Hints for Collectors.
A very imp[ortant text on the subject in its day, and still extremely useful. Covers all classes: Amphioxi; Elasmobranchii; Holocephali; Teleostomi. After a general description of the order, provides detailed describtion of the species, its distribution and further remarks. In its day, sold for sixteen shillings. Has also become valuable as a collectors item.
|THE SEAHORSE AND ITS RELATIVES
Gilbert Whitley, and Joyce Allen. Georgian House, Melbourne, 1958.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 84 pages, mono line drawings, index.
Would this be the first specialist book on seahorses published anywhere in the world? Whitley was at the time the Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Allen was curtor o shells at the same museum. Both were well respected in their firleds, and Whitely was, or became, a respected author of other marine books and papers. The book is divided into two parts - Part 1 on th seahorse, its lore and legends, habits and habitats, breeding, structure, and a chapter on Australian seahorses. Part 2 concerned the relativs of the seahorse, the beautiful Weedy and Leafy Seadragons, and some of the Pipefishes., trumpet fishes and flutemouths, and seamoths. It is still a most useful reference. [ps]
GUIDE TO REEF FISH OF AUSTRALIA
(including Great Barrier Reef, Coral sea, Fiji and Adjacent waters).
A plastic card 15 x 23 cm, with some seventy fish drawings in full colour, for use underwater, designed for fish identification whilst diving. The drawings are based on the book Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef by John Randal et al.
This excellent book is more than a simple 'Asia/Indo-Pacific Marine Life Identification Guide'. It is more of an education course in the marine sciences, providing divers, snorkellers and anyone interested in marine life with the grounding necessary to understand the concepts of taxonomy - the 'classification' of plants and animals. It covers all the major familes from algae and sponges and corals and cnidarians to crustacea, the fishes and mammals.
Excellent value, for its content and presentation: hardcover (laminated board covers, oblong format, 96 pages, full colour throughout, glossary, index. A great 'starter kit' for anyone interested in marine life.
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Phone (03) 5182 5108 International 61 3 5182 5108
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