- Hardcover: 96 pages
- Publisher: Trident Press (1 May 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1900724286
- ISBN-13: 978-1900724289
- Package Dimensions: 21.2 x 15.4 x 1.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,263,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Red Sea Sharks (In Depth Diver's Guides) Hardcover – 1 May 1999
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A comprehensive guide to the sharks of the Red Sea. It contains information under the following headings: sharks and divers; where are sharks found on Red Sea coral reefs?; how likely is a diver to see a shark on a Red Sea reef? are the sharks seen on reefs confined to reefs?; is a shark doomed to swim or sink?; can sharks rest on the bottom?; sensory mechanisms; reproduction and development; sharks and their escorts; conservation; does the great white shark occur in the Red Sea?; diving with sharks; danger and diet; warning signs; attacking to feed; attacks on divers; time of day; does size matter?; feeding sharks; sharks and marine mammals; when things go wrong; safety tips. Species covered are: blackfin reef shark; blacktip reef shark; whitetip reef shark; silvertip shark; oceanic whitetip shark; grey reef shark; whale shark; tiger shark; variegated shark; silky shark; sandbar shark; tawny shark; pelagic thresher shark; scalloped hammerhead shark; great hammerhead shark.
Top customer reviews
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Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch is an acknowledged authority on the Shark having written a number of acclaimed works on the subject. In this work, however, he seeks to produce one of those diver log-book publications with two pages at the end reserved for personal notes on shark sightings. That concept simply doesn’t work with fixed binding books because once those spaces are full, the book is of no further use in that respect and nobody else would ever be interested in a book full of somebody else’s notes and observations.
The layout is reminiscent of Immel Publishing (now defunct) from 30 years ago with wide, blank margins on almost every page. This is a small book where space is at a premium and none of that space should not be wasted on a publisher’s obsession with wide margins. Typing is a little on the large side and I continually found it difficult to understand why the author appears to have struggled to fill such a small book (8¼ x 6 in or 210x150mm) with only 96 pages when the very subject of sharks demands the divulging of endless information.
Content is arranged with several chapters under each of the two main headings; Part One: Shark Biology and Behaviour and Part Two: Shark Identification. In these areas, Stafford-Deitsch comes into his own and I am confident the reader can trust the information given because he really does know his stuff. This is, however, the only area where the book scores points but even that is insufficient when the text is viewed alongside the images. Photographs are often barely adequate. Not all are of Sharks and some that are show a small creature in the distance. Not all species arte shown and a few images are of such poor quality they should not have been used. Point being, if you see a Shark while diving in the Red Sea, you are not likely to find a clear representation of your sighting in this book and that rather defeats the purpose of the work altogether!
The most useful item, for me at least, in the whole book was a profile drawing of what is called a ‘Generalized Shark’ where all the main 16 parts are labelled. At least I learned something from that.
In summary, therefore, a bit of a let-down from someone capable of so much better.
The biggest problem with this book is that it simply gives incorrect information. Fifteen species of shark found in the Red Sea are described but the author has identified several of them incorrectly. For example, the blacktip reef shark is shown as a blackfin reef shark, there is no such shark as a blackfin reef shark. Then what is shown as the blacktip reef shark is actually the blacktip shark. There are other incorrect identifications in the book, even one of the scientific names shown doesn't exist.
The amount of information in this book is very basic; there are far more informative books out there at a similar price. The Collins Field Guide - Sharks of the world http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007136102/qid%3D1136282742/026-9070791-8717211 for example has to be the definitive reference for all world sharks.