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Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep [Hardcover]

Mike Everhart
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.70
Price: 17.61 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Oct 2007
Sharks and dinosaurs, dinosaurs and sharks, we find them both alien and awe-inspiring, at once utterly inhuman and somehow irresistibly compelling. But forget "Jaws" and "Jurassic Park--"nothing can prepare you for "Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep, " an amazing plunge into the Cretaceous oceans of 80 million years ago, a merciless realm ruled by the most ferocious animals ever to stalk the seas of planet Earth. More terrifying than anything known to humankind, it scarcely seems possible that these swift, massive underwater predators actually existed, but they did--and this is their frightening, fascinating, unforgettable story.
Featuring incredibly realistic computer-generated images and 3-D film clips--with 3-D glasses--field photography by National Geographic cameramen, and much more, the book interweaves dramatic scenes of the far, far distant past; up-to-the-minute scientific profiles of nearly two dozen sea monsters; and a group portrait of the eccentric Sternberg family, Kansas-bred pioneers of marine paleontology. From giant sharks and fierce reptiles to the fossil-hunters who proved that today's land-locked Great Plains were once submerged, to the cutting-edge Large Format Film technology that made "Sea Monsters" possible, this book and the movie behind it will forever change how we think about marine predators--and make us look at the oceans of our world with new eyes and a shivery mix of wonderment and ancient, instinctive fear.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society (31 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426200854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426200854
  • Product Dimensions: 28.3 x 23.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 542,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Everhart, author of this book and lead consultant for the film, is former president of the Kansas Academy of Science and current editor of the academy journal. Since 1998 he has been curator of paleontology at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History and presently teaches the subject at the University of Kansas. He is also the author of "Oceans of Kansas: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea."

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Narrow on scope but very interesting 26 Jan 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Prehistoric sea reptiles of the Mesozoic are as interesting as their terrestrial cousins and contemporaries, the Dinosaurs. The problem is there are not many books available for them, at least not for non-scientists. So when one such book comes along, you grab it. And get a mixed reaction.
Let's have the positive aspect first. It is a well written book, easy to follow even if you have no previous idea about paleontology. There is a clear methodology in its presentation of Mesozoic sea reptiles, their families and evolution. Also the supplements about famous fossil hunters and methods of fossil excavation and preparation are useful and give one an accurate idea of the immense task of bringing slowly, painfully, to life the fragments of Earth's life history glimpsed through fragmentary fossils scattered all over the globe. And of course the illustrations are of the quality and scientific accuracy which are the hallmark of a "National Geographic" edition.
But the book focuses on just one period of Mesozoic sea life development, namely middle to late Cretaceous, around 82 million years ago. I understand that the film which inspired the book had the same narrow focus, and I fully sympathize with the time and costs constraints imposing that narrowness. But the book could have moved beyond these limits and present a full account of prehistoric sea reptiles. Also, I think that at least some data were repeated many times throughout the book, in different forms, without offering any new perspectives. Finally the 3-D images were sensational but they were more of an interesting trick than an informational tool.
Overall it was a good book and it gave a scientifically accurate picture of Cretaceous Sea Life, accessible to all interested audiences. But it could have been much more if it had used the 3-D movie as a starting point instead of an exclusive inspiration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish without the 3D glasses 7 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book didn't come with the 3D glasses and as much of the book has been printed to only be viewed with 3D glasses, most of it is rubbish
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cool 3-D 8 Feb 2011
By allison
Beautiful illustration and the 3-D really does work with the glasses. I bought this for my 7-year old son and the text is definately too dense for him to read himself but we pick out the most interesting stuff. Reading level is 15+ years I would say.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get another book 23 July 2008
By thepolarbearclan - Published on Amazon.com
My sons watched Chased by Dinosaurs and became interested in sea monsters. But we were very disappointed when we got this book. The 3-D photos are basically useless because the photos span two pages and the book does not open flat. When you do pry the book flat all the way almost breaking the binding, there is still about 2 centimeters lost in the middle - so don't try to count the bones on the elasmosaurus if your child wants to know exactly how many neck bones are there in the picture! Cretoxyrhina doesn't look impressive or even scary when you can't see it clearly - btw, that's 6 full pages wasted! I wish the author will just scale the pictures down to fit one page, that is still 9x11 inches and quite adequate. The pair of 3-D "glasses" is just a cardboard. So by the time you hold the "glasses" you don't have enough hands to flatten the book to avoid any glares.

In all honesty, this is just an okay book. We prefer Chased by Sea Monsters which has more sea monsters and better index.

Chased By Sea Monsters
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent pick for any collection appealing to lay readers of prehistoric life or aquatic history. 7 Feb 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
This companion to the screen film SEA MONSTERS stands alone well as an excellent addition to any general-interest lending library strong in sea exploration and ecology. Some 100 images taken from the film - many in 3-D - bring these sea monsters to life, while accompanying dialogue from pioneering paleontologists trace the vanished worlds and creatures of the past and brings prehistory to life. An excellent pick for any collection appealing to lay readers of prehistoric life or aquatic history.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mix of graphics and text 24 Jan 2010
By Newton Ooi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the critics of TV is that it distracts people from reading. This might be true in some cases, but for the genre of prehistoric life (outside of dinosaurs), the CGI documentaries on cable and satellite TV have driven the sale of related books. This big, coffe-table book is one such example. Not quite as lavish as the books by Tim Haines, or the Walking with Dinosaurs series, this is still an impressive work by National Geographic, and features 3-D 2-page spreads with a pair of 3-D glasses. There is an accompanying movie of course, but the book is quite good by itself. It provides a mix of fossil-hunting documentary, to color illustrations of ancient sea monsters, along with descriptions of possible lifestyles and such. All told, a great book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Especially great for the young ones (or your inner child) fascinated by sea monsters! 18 Feb 2013
By Sydney - Published on Amazon.com
My then 7 year old little brother was on a serious sea monster kick after visiting the awesome Onion Creek Mosasaur exhibit at the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin. We then watched Chased by Sea Monsters, which is the DVD that this book is companion to.

Naturally, all summer long he read every book I could get him that was about huge prehistoric ocean creatures. This is a great introduction to National Geographic for young readers and also makes a fascinating read for people of all ages interested in the sea monster evolution and what lurked in our ancient oceans. Some of the fantastic artwork is in 3D to further intrigue younger readers (my kid brother loved it!)

There are over 20 prehistoric sea creatures described including savage MONSTER sharks to bloodthirsty marine reptiles like mosasaurs, which are believed to be distantly related to monitor lizards such as the Komodo Dragon and which became our summer favourites. Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep contains an abundance of detailed information about the prehistoric ocean and is really a great primer on marine paleontology.

Recommended for anyone with an interest in prehistoric sharks and marine reptiles, and especially for the young ones (or your inner child) fascinated by sea monsters!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much education here. 24 Aug 2013
By Peter J. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a showcase for the Nat Geo movie of the same name and has little value as a standalone book. It has large 3-d pictures that you must use the little paper framed 3-D glasses to appreciate. This really doesn't work well at all. The images are also printed across two pages in many cases so that they are ruined by parts of the image being buried in the spine. About 20% of the book is tied up with sections on the making of the movie and about the art that they used - pure self promotion. I was very disappointed when I received this and cannot understand how this book got so many high reviews.
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