By Ellen Prager
While seen from a quiet seashore, the sea, with its rolling waves and tremendous expanse, can appear calm, even serene. yet hidden underneath the sea’s waves are a marvelous abundance and diversity of lively creatures, engaged within the endless struggles of life—to reproduce, to consume, and to prevent being eaten.With intercourse, medications, and Sea Slime, marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the ocean to introduce an remarkable solid of attention-grabbing and peculiar creatures that make the salty depths their domestic. From the tiny yet voracious arrow worms whose rapacious methods could lead on to demise by way of overeating, to the lobsters that conflict opponents or seduce friends with their urine, to the sea’s masters of hide, the octopuses, Prager not just brings to existence the ocean’s unknown creatures, but in addition finds the methods they have interaction as predators, prey, or strength pals. And whereas those animals make for a few jaw-dropping stories—witness the ocean cucumber, which ejects its personal intestines to confuse predators, or the hagfish that ties itself right into a knot to maintain from suffocating in its personal slime—there’s way more to Prager’s account than her ever-entertaining anecdotes: time and again, she illustrates the the most important connections among lifestyles within the ocean and humankind, in every thing from our nutrients offer to our financial system, and in drug discovery, biomedical study, and well known culture.Written with a diver’s love of the sea, a novelist’s ability at storytelling, and a scientist’s deep wisdom, intercourse, medicinal drugs, and Sea Slime enchants because it educates, mesmerizing us with the wealth of lifestyles within the sea—and reminding us of the necessity to safeguard it.
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Extra resources for Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
They go in through open orifices, such as the mouth, gills, or yes, I am sorry to say, the backdoor. Once inside their prey (already or mostly dead, I swear), hagfishes feast on soft flesh, muscles, organs, and guts. Fishermen know this sly tactic all too well because sometimes upon hauling in their catch all they get is a fish-skin bag full of bones and squirming hagfish. Along with their gruesome propensity to feed on the dead, hagfishes are well known for their slime, lots of slime (plate 2).
After mating, a female lobster may spend a few days recovering from her molt within the male’s shelter. She then simply walks away and a new female lobster will come to call. Dominant males are repeatedly seduced into a continuous series of shortterm affairs, while the females seem to choose when and with whom they will mate. The subordinate males, those that do not win battles or get the best lairs, will sometimes get a few of the dominant males’ leftovers, but without a large, attractive condo to share, they remain mainly frustrated bachelors on the make.
Lobsters actively sniff for undersea “odors” or chemicals by flicking their smaller pair of antennae, or antennules, back and forth. In laboratory studies, the lobster to pee first and with the “sweetest” smelling urine, along with the largest claw, is the most likely to win in battle. ” When a female Maine lobster approaches a shelter, hot for some action, she not only sniffs for a male’s pee, she lets loose a stream of her own. Her urine can render a once brutish male docile and even touchy, feely.
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter by Ellen Prager