INTO THE OCEAN WORLD by Ritchie Ward

INTO THE OCEAN WORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The focus here is as much on the scientists who dredged and charted the world's oceans as it is on the myriad of creatures -- corals, mollusks, sponges, plankton, crabs, starfish -- who live down under. Ward begins back in 450 A.D. with the 2400 mile voyage of Hawaii-loa, the Polynesian who navigated the Pacific without sexton or compass, and moves into the present with accounts of ongoing research in the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California -- where scientists are currently studying the nutrition and metabolism of copeheads, the minuscule shrimp-like creatures which are the first animals in the marine food chain. Ward manages to avoid a textbook approach though his accounts of the complex ecology of the world's oceans sometimes strain the lay reader who feels like a passenger accompanying Jules Verne 20 thousand leagues below. What he does convey is the excitement of research and the many questions still to be answered about the photosynthetic processes of the marine environment and the awesome number of underwater organisms whose life cycles and biochemistry may provide important clues to our own watery beginnings.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1974
Publisher: Knopf