Let's face it. It is hard luck that this companion volume to The Wonderful World of Insects should come within two weeks of...

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE SEASHORE

Let's face it. It is hard luck that this companion volume to The Wonderful World of Insects should come within two weeks of Rachel Carson's The Edge of the Sea (see report p. 793). Actually, it supplements the Carson book by a more down-to-earth handling of the subject, more specific, more exact, less poetic, but covering a broader scope. It too should prove a fascinating book for any coastwise reader. What it would mean to those unaccustomed to the seashore it is hard to say. But if the sea-from Maine's rocky coasts to the shell strewn beaches of the Gulf Coast, from Puget Sound to southern California -- is your passion, this is your book. Albro Gaul, biologist and entomologist, has brought the scientific exploration of this miniature of the evolutionary history of the world into focus for the layman. He looks back to the beginnings of life on the seashore -- and forward to the changes the future will bring. He takes successive shore areas:- the dune lands; the upper beach; the land that is exposed between the tides; the inshore bottoms; the tide pools; the salt marshes; the harbors, rivers and estuaries -- and within each area he studies the plant life, the birds, the marine life. Common life problems meet differing solutions, and the maintenance of balance becomes a miniature struggle. Each area is a frontier, with land and sea providing factors. The harvest of the sea varies according to this frontier, and as one reads one realizes how much is seen without being interpreted. There's an immense amount of interrelated data here on molluscs, crustaceans, shallow and deeper water fish and marine creatures, predatory factors, the plankton- and its economic importance, growth that we accept as vegetable that is actually animal. And recurrently, there is the evil that men do-in pollution, in dredging, in damming, even in disturbing the vital balance through such things as mosquito control. This is not always easy reading, but for those to whom the background is familiar, it is always absorbing.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1955