Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods

Squid Empire The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods Before there were mammals on land there were dinosaurs And before there were fish in the sea there were cephalopods the ancestors of modern squid and Earth s first truly substantial animals Cephalop

  • Title: Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods
  • Author: Danna Staaf
  • ISBN: 9781611689235
  • Page: 457
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Before there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods the ancestors of modern squid and Earth s first truly substantial animals Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an uBefore there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods the ancestors of modern squid and Earth s first truly substantial animals Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an undersea empire for millions of years But when fish evolved jaws, the ocean s former top predator became its most delicious snack Cephalopods had to step up their game Many species streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, but these enhancements only provided a brief advantage Some cephalopods then abandoned the shell entirely, which opened the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations masterful camouflage, fin supplemented jet propulsion, perhaps even dolphin like intelligence Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years, from the marine life of the primordial ocean to the calamari on tonight s menu Anyone who enjoys the undersea world along with all those obsessed with things prehistoric will be interested in the sometimes enormous, often bizarre creatures that ruled the seas long before the first dinosaurs.

    One thought on “Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods”

    1. Disclaimer: I won a copy via Librarything. Unlike Staaf, it took me quite a while to warm up to squid, octopuses and the like. It wasn’t until I read “The Vampie Squid from Hell” by Richard Ellis that I took an interest. Staaf’s book isn’t about one specific squid, octopus, or whatnot; instead it is about the history of cephalopods as a whole, in particular the evolution. Which you think would make it a rather dull science book, but it is not. In part, this is because of all the cool a [...]

    2. It's worth saying that I am literally the target audience for this book. Your mileage may vary, particularly if you are not the kind of person who loves paleontology, cephalopods, and odd scientific humor. But my favorite aunt sent me this book for Christmas because she knows I love cephalopods and she remembers me being obsessed with dinosaurs as a kid, and, sure enough, it hit all my happy buttons.Also, it is a ridiculously beautiful book design. I mean, just look at that cover. GORGEOUS. I fr [...]

    3. This is not usually the kind of book I read, but I really enjoyed it. The story of squid/octopuses and their evolution is fascinating, and told well. In addition the various diversions into what people used to think and why they changed their minds are an interesting glimpse into how science is really done. Finally, the writing itself is fun without sacrificing much in the name of precision, which really helped keep my interest.If you're interested in evolution or the ocean, you'll enjoy this bo [...]

    4. I fully expected to love this book, having seen the author speak and been charmed by the author's enthusiasm and humor. I did learn a lot, and certainly Ms. Staaf's love of her subject is just as apparent in the book as it was in person. My biggest problem was that at times it read less like a book about cephalopods and more like a book about the study of cephalopods.If the distinction isn't clear, take a look at this excerpt, from the book's final chapter:When I began delving into the study of [...]

    5. Cephalopods are so cool. But this book is mostly not about the modern octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish (and I guess nautiluses) that can, just for example, carry on two separate conversations with different skin displays in different directions even though they appear to be colorblind. Or about the modern giant squid that, far from being the rare monsters I imagined, might be being eaten in the millions EACH DAY. No, this book is about the evolution of cephalopods. Which is also cool. It's a gre [...]

    6. Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods is a book that does exactly as "described on the tin". This is the fascinating tale of the evolutionary rise and fall (and possible rise again) of Cephalopods - everything from ammonites, nautiloids, squid, octopuses, cuttlefish and the other odd prehistoric creatures that get lumped in the "head-foot" category.The author takes an evolutionary approach starting off with the first Cephalopods in the Cambrian, and ties in several threads of anatom [...]

    7. Reasons why you need to read this book right now:1. Snarkiest footnotes everrrrr. I love this woman.2. Dr. Staaf writes octopus fan-fic in her spare time - see Suction Cup Dreams. Yes, Virginia, there is a published anthology of octopus short-stories. But, in case you were worried, Dr. Staaf did NOT write the tentacle erotica story that you will (apparently) find in that collection. 3. The cleverness of the author is matched by that of her book designer, Eric Brooks. Mr. Brooks does page footing [...]

    8. This is a very interesting history of cephalopods, you'll learn a lot about squid, cuttlefish, octopus, shrimp, including their biology, and the fascinating story of their evolution. The cephalopods ruled the oceans for roughly twice as long as the dinosaurs ruled the earth. Some animals extracted gases from the ocean water and filled chambers in their shells so they could float to help them travel, or drop onto their prey! Flying squid is a real thing! Shells thickened and developed spines when [...]

    9. Cephalopods are great and apparently a rather neglected part of our evolutionary history. Aside from giving us a solid grounding - at an easy-to-read level - in basic anatomy, Staaf relates their development to our own, and does a great job of highlighting how they continue to be significant to us, even though our actions are harming their populations.Full disclosure, I have a nautilus tattoo. (It's got a Fibonacci spiral in for good measure. I call it Fibonautilus because I am not creative with [...]

    10. This book opens you to the evolution and history of one of the most resilient and ancient animal groups of this planet.It's written in a very good and understanding style, makes no assumption about your background.At the same time is not banal, and required from me extending a research to other sources.Thanks to the fact that cephalopods survived multiple mass extinction of the past (most notably Permian, Cretaceus), gave me some hope that Antropocene mass extinction will not be a final for this [...]

    11. A couple months ago I had the good fortune of meeting Danna Staaf and purchasing a copy of Squid Empire directly from the author. Staaf's humor and adoration for cephalopods shines through in her writing as she weaves the tale of early cephalopod to modern. This intriguing evolutionary history spans multiple extinction events and diverse forms (ammonites, I'm looking at you.). Long live the cephalopod!

    12. Had to return to the library when I was about 1/3 of the way through and won't be getting it back. If you want to read a book about cephalopod evolution, this is the one! Well-written, good storytelling, and engaging for what it is. Turns out I didn't really want to read a book about cephalopod evolution.

    13. A wonderful book about cephalopods!This was a great book for understanding more about the world of cephalopods. You will find a little history, more than a little science and lots of information about our tentacular underwater friends.

    14. Why don't cephalopods get more recognition? Is it due to their lack of backbone that we underappreciate this curious class of marine animals, or their distinct uncuddliness? From their origins in the Cambrian and subsequent evolutionary paths, to extinctions and proliferation in the present-day, cephalopods and their curious history are the focus of Danna Staaf's new book. You need not be a marine biologist or paleontologist to enjoy all of the excellent information presented within, merely have [...]

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