In order for us to stay underwater for an extended period of time, we need some serious equipment, from scuba gear to submarines. But the oceans are teeming with life that thrives beneath the water. From the near-freezing poles to the sun-free hydrothermal vents, all the way to the warm tropics, marine creatures have adapted in amazing ways to live in some of Earth’s most extreme environments.
Marine biologist and Director of the Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University Stephen Palumbi and his son and science writer Anthony Palumbi have teamed up to introduce us to some of those extreme habitats and the spectacular creatures that live there in their new book, The Extreme Life of the Sea.
The Palumbis organized their book into a collection of superlatives “in hopes of igniting a spark of curiosity and passion for what exists beneath the waves.”
Here are some of the extremes you’ll learn about:
- The Earliest
- The Most Archaic
- The Smallest
- The Deepest
- The Shallowest
- The Oldest
- The Fastest Sprints and Longest Journeys
- The Hottest
- The Coldest
- The Strangest Family Lives
After you’re thoroughly amazed at these marine creatures and the adaptations that allow them to survive in such extremes, the Palumbis explore the many ways human intervention has changed the ocean. The scary part is that the ocean is changing much faster than these creatures can adapt. What does that mean for our future? Well it’s not all doom and gloom.
“Nature is good at balancing itself out,” they write. So the important thing to focus on is changing the way we think about the ocean. We need it to survive, so hopefully learning a little more about the amazing life beneath the surface will inspire more people to care.
To learn more, check out the tumblr page dedicated to The Extreme Life of the Sea.
Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.