Fishes of the Open Ocean: A Natural History and Illustrated Guide
by Julian Pepperell
illustrated by Guy Harvey
University of Chicago Press, 2010
Cloth: 978-0-226-65539-0
Library of Congress Classification QL620.P46 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 597.177


Between the surface of the sea and depths of two hundred meters lies a remarkable range of fish, generally known as pelagics, or open-ocean dwellers. These creatures are among the largest, fastest, highest-leaping, and most migratory fish on the entire planet. Beautifully adapted to their world, they range from tiny drift fish and plankton-straining whale sharks to more streamlined predators such as tuna, marlin, sailfish, and wahoo.

Fishes of the Open Ocean
, from leadingmarine biologistand world authorityon the subject JulianPepperell, is the firstbook to comprehensivelydescribe thesefishes and explore thecomplex and oftenfragile world in whichthey live. In whatwill be the definitivebook on the subject for years to come—and, with over three hundredcolor images, the most lavishly produced as well—Pepperell details theenvironment and biology of every major species of fish that inhabitsthe open ocean, an expanse that covers 330 million cubic miles and isthe largest aquatic habitat on the Earth. The first section of the bookintroduces the various evolutionary forms these fish have taken, as wellas the ways in which specific species interact and coevolve withothers in the food web. A chapter on commercial andsport fisheries explores the human element in thisrealm and considers such issues as sustainability,catch-and-release initiatives, and the risks of extinction.

The second section of the book provides species accounts of open ocean dwellers organized by group, with overviews and general descriptions that are inclusive of range and distribution, unique physiological and morphological attributes, and the role of each species within its ecosystem. Global distribution maps, original illustrations from renowned artist and scientist Guy Harvey, and truly stunning images from some of the world’s leading underwater photographers round out this copiously illustrated volume.

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