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Customer Review

7 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Diver's Guide to Reef Life, 17 Sept. 2007
This review is from: A Diver's Guide to Reef Life (Hardcover)
A Diver's Guide to Reef Life

Comment by Stephen Wong, Marine Wildlife Photojournalist

I used to believe that biologists (or people who knew much of science) did not make the prettiest images, while dedicated photographers were merely trying to paint aesthetic pictures but didn't know a lot about the scientific part of their subjects. I am sure the biologists could shoot extremely well but they just didn't have the time to create the pretty photos, as their time spent would be doing much research in lab and field. At the same time, wildlife photographers could be stellar ecologist but simply lack the proper background training to discuss seriously the scientific side, or the photographers could know in-depth biology on only a few subjects but not many. Gee, am I wrong! "A Diver's Guide to Reef Life" by Andrea & Antonella Ferrari has changed my stereotypic perception.

This 480-page 16cm X 18cm book delivers a wealth of scientific knowledge plus a full load of exquisite images. There must be at least 828 species (I counted) of the more encountered and diver-interested marine creatures' discussed and over 1,200 species of animals deftly composed in the book. Not only the general distribution and sizing of the subjects are talked about, the animals' individual habitats and their intrigue life habits are discussed. The ID shots for the `science' section are more than adequate as the pictures clearly show the species' colors, shapes and unique features so that viewers can immediately locate and relate to. The life habits section and the galleries (many beautiful images) are my most favorite. I am learning a lot from these two areas, plus from the underwater photo-tips that the Ferraris stated in each family introduction.

Besides the more popular diver-quested subjects, such as sharks to the jeweled pygmy seahorses, the book also covers subjects that may be of less interest to most divers, like the corals, sponges and sea squirts. Though these are not talked in-depth, the authors have used ample images to let the readers compare to what they see in their dives - a criteria for a good guide book. The Ferraris also have dedicated a small section on the dangers that the ecosystem now faces and suggested a list of `Don'ts' for everyone to help to preserve the fragile reef.

"A Diver's Guide to Reef Life" is a book that makes nature lovers learn more about the denizens of the seas and the relationships with each other. With interesting marine science balances eye-savvy images, be the book placed on the shelf for educational purposes or bringing it on dive locations for reference, I highly recommend the book for everyone and all resorts.
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