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Marine Life

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  1. 11.4 hrs • 8/4/2015 • Unabridged

    From Susan Casey, the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil’s Teeth and The Wave, a breathtaking look into the mysterious world of dolphins and their conflicted history with man. Since the dawn of recorded history, humans have felt a kinship with the sleek and beautiful dolphin, an animal whose playfulness, sociability, and intelligence seems like an aquatic mirror of mankind. In recent decades, scientists have discovered dolphins recognize themselves in reflections, count, feel despondent, adorn themselves, rescue one another (and humans), deduce, infer, form cliques, throw tantrums, gossip, scheme. Several native peoples trace their lineage to dolphins. They are the stars of multimillion dollar aquatic theme parks, money that has fueled a sinister illicit trade as shown in the documentary Blackfish. The US Navy has a secret program using dolphins as undersea soldiers. The theory that they are a superior, extraterrestial species is popular among the new age fringe. They are the victims of brutal slaughters as depicted in the documentary The Cove. To swim with a dolphin is a transporting experience, an encounter with a being seemingly so like us, yet so alien. No writer is better positioned to portray these magical creatures than Susan Casey, whose combination of personal reporting, intense scientific research, and evocative prose made The Wave and The Devil’s Teeth contemporary classics of writing on the oceans. For two years Casey traveled the world, and now she has written a thrilling book about the other intelligent life on the planet.

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    Voices in the Ocean

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    11.4 hrs • 8/4/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 9.2 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. Sy Montgomery’s popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, “Deep Intellect,” about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shapeshifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who are now establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

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    The Soul of an Octopus

    9.2 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 13.6 hrs • 7/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Two men face off against an all-powerful navy—and the fate of the ocean’s most majestic creatures hangs in the balance. War of the Whales is the gripping tale of a crusading attorney who stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound—and drives whales onto beaches. As Joel Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth. When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Waged in secret military labs and the nation’s highest court, War of the Whales is a real-life thriller that combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.

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    War of the Whales

    13.6 hrs • 7/1/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    12.6 hrs • 12/20/2011 • Unabridged

    Set during the Cold War, in 1988, Big Miracle tells the real story behind the remarkable, bizarre, and oftentimes uproarious event that mesmerized the world for weeks. On October 7, an Inuit hunter near Barrow, Alaska, found three California Gray whales imprisoned in the Arctic ice. In the past, as was nature’s way, trapped whales always died. But not this time. Tom Rose, who was covering the event for a Japanese television station, compellingly describes how oil company executives, environmental activists, Inupiat people, small business people, and the US military boldly worked together to rescue the whales. He also tells the stories of some of the more than a hundred international journalists who brought the story to the world’s attention. The rescue was followed by millions of people around the world as Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev joined the forces of their two nations to help free the whales.

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    Big Miracle

    12.6 hrs • 12/20/11 • Unabridged
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  5. 11.0 hrs • 6/14/2011 • Unabridged

    Agroup of traders huddles around a pile of dried shark fins on a gleaming white floor in Hong Kong. A Papua New Guinean elder shoves off in his hand-carved canoe, ready to summon a shark with ancient magic. A scientist finds a rare shark in Indonesia and forges a deal with villagers so it and other species can survive.In this eye-opening adventure that spans the globe, Juliet Eilperin investigates the fascinating ways different individuals and cultures relate to the ocean’s top predator. Along the way, she reminds us why, after millions of years, sharks remain among nature’s most awe-inspiring creatures.From Belize to South Africa, from Shanghai to Bimini, we see that sharks are still the object of an obsession that may eventually lead to their extinction. This is why movie stars and professional athletes go shark hunting in Miami and why shark’s fin soup remains a coveted status symbol in China. Yet we also see glimpses of how people and sharks can exist alongside one another: surfers tolerating their presence off Cape Town and ecotourists swimming with sharks that locals in the Yucatán no longer have to hunt.With a reporter’s instinct for a good story and a scientist’s curiosity, Eilperin offers us an up-close understanding of these extraordinary, mysterious creatures in the most entertaining and illuminating shark encounter you’re likely to find outside a steel cage.

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    Demon Fish

    11.0 hrs • 6/14/11 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.9 hrs • 10/2/2007 • Unabridged

    In the tradition of The Perfect Storm, The Whale Warriors takes us on a hair-raising journey aboard a whale-saving pirate ship with a vigilante crew whose mission is to stop illegal Japanese whaling in the stormy remote seas off Antarctica.  For two months, journalist Peter Heller rode aboard the vegan pirate ship Farley Mowat as it stalked its prey—a Japanese whaling fleet—through the storms and ice of Antarctica. The ship is black, flies under a jolly roger, and carries members of the Sea Shepherd Society, a radical environmental group who are willing to die to stop illegal whale hunting.  The Sea Shepherd ship, led by the charismatic Captain Paul Watson—a modern-day anti-Ahab—takes extreme risks in defense of whales and ratchets up the stakes. The ship is almost sunk twice, once in a force gale. Heller re-creates a nail-biting showdown when Watson and the crew attempt to ram an enormous Japanese whaling ship on the high seas, trying to tear open its hull with a steel blade called a “can opener.” The crews on board both ships know that there will be no assistance in this desolate part of the ocean. In thirty-five-foot seas, it is a deadly game of Antarctic chicken and a fast-paced, rollicking adventure in which the stakes cannot be higher.

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    The Whale Warriors

    10.9 hrs • 10/2/07 • Unabridged
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  7. 15.9 hrs • 7/16/2007 • Unabridged

    This is the epic history of the “iron men in wooden boats” who built an industrial empire through the pursuit of whales.  “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme,” Herman Melville proclaimed, and this absorbing history demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling.  Eric Jay Dolin begins his vivid narrative with Captain John Smith’s botched whaling expedition to the New World in 1614. He then chronicles the rise of a burgeoning industry—from its brutal struggles during the Revolutionary period to its golden age in the mid-eighteen hundreds, when a fleet of more than seven hundred ships hunted the seas and American whale oil lit the world—to its decline as the twentieth century dawned. This sweeping social and economic history provides rich and often fantastic accounts of the men themselves, who mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, scrimshawed, and recorded their experiences in journals and memoirs. Containing a wealth of naturalistic detail on whales, Leviathan is the most original and stirring history of American whaling in many decades.         

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    Leviathan

    15.9 hrs • 7/16/07 • Unabridged
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  8. 10.8 hrs • 5/3/2005 • Unabridged

    Travel thirty miles north, south, or east of San Francisco city hall and you’ll be engulfed in a landscape of thick traffic, fast enterprise, and six-dollar cappuccinos. Venture thirty miles due west, however, and you will find yourself on what is virtually another planet: a spooky cluster of rocky islands called the Farallones. Journalist Susan Casey was in her living room when she first glimpsed this strange place and its resident sharks, their dark fins swirling around a tiny boat in a documentary. These great whites were the alphas among alphas, the narrator said, some of them topping eighteen feet in length, and each fall they congregated here off the northern California coast. That so many of these magnificent and elusive animals lived in the 415 area code, crisscrossing each other under the surface like jets stacked in a holding pattern, seemed stunningly improbably—and irresistible. Within a matter of months she was in a seventeen-foot Boston Whaler, being hoisted up a cliff face onto the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island—part of the group known to nineteenth-century sailors as the “Devil’s Teeth.” There she joined the two biologists who study the sharks, bunking down in the island’s one habitable building, a haunted, 120-year-old house spackled with lichen and gull guano. Less than forty-eight hours later she had her first encounter with the famous, terrifying jaws and was instantly hooked. The Devil’s Teeth offers a rare glimpse into the lives of nature’s most mysterious predators, and of those who follow them. Here is a vivid dispatch from an otherworldly outpost, a story of crossing the boundary between society and an untamed place where humans are neither wanted nor needed.

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    The Devil's Teeth

    10.8 hrs • 5/3/05 • Unabridged
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  9. 5.0 hrs • 6/4/2002 • Unabridged

    Master storyteller Peter Benchley combines high adventure with practical information in Shark Trouble, a book that is at once a thriller and a valuable guide to being safe in, on, under, and around the sea. The bestselling author of Jaws, The Deep, and other works draws on more than three decades of experience to share information about sharks and other marine animals. Benchley describes the many types of sharks (including the ones that pose a genuine threat to man), what is and isn’t known about shark behavior, the odds against an attack and how to reduce them even further—all reinforced with the lessons he has learned, the mistakes he has made, and the personal perils he has encountered while producing television documentaries, bestselling novels, and articles about the sea and its inhabitants. He tells how to swim safely in the ocean, how to read the tides and currents, what behavior to avoid, and how to survive when danger suddenly strikes. He discusses how to tell children about sharks and the sea and how to develop, in young and old alike, a healthy respect for the ocean. As Benchley says, “The ocean is the only alien and potentially hostile environment on the planet into which we tend to venture without thinking about the animals that live there, how they behave, how they support themselves, and how they perceive us. I know of no one who would set off into the jungles of Malaysia armed only with a bathing suit, a tube of suntan cream, and a book, and yet that’s precisely how we approach the oceans.” No longer. Not after you’ve read Shark Trouble.

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    Shark Trouble

    5.0 hrs • 6/4/02 • Unabridged
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  10. 5.0 hrs • 1/1/2002 • Unabridged

    Master storyteller Peter Benchley combines high adventure with practical information in Shark Trouble, a book that is at once a thriller and a valuable guide to being safe in, on, under, and around the sea. The bestselling author of Jaws, The Deep, and other works draws on more than three decades of experience to share information about sharks and other marine animals. “Shark attacks on human beings generate a tremendous amount of media coverage,” Benchley writes, “partly because they occur so rarely, but mostly, I think, because people are, and always have been, simultaneously intrigued and terrified by sharks. Sharks come from a wing of the dark castle where our nightmares live—deep water beyond our sight and understanding—and so they stimulate our fears and fantasies and imaginations.” Benchley describes the many types of sharks (including the ones that pose a genuine threat to man), what is and isn’t known about shark behavior, the odds against an attack and how to reduce them even further—all reinforced with the lessons he has learned, the mistakes he has made, and the personal perils he has encountered while producing television documentaries, bestselling novels, and articles about the sea and its inhabitants. He tells how to swim safely in the ocean, how to read the tides and currents, what behavior to avoid, and how to survive when danger suddenly strikes. He discusses how to tell children about sharks and the sea and how to develop, in young and old alike, a healthy respect for the ocean. As Benchley says, “The ocean is the only alien and potentially hostile environment on the planet into which we tend to venture without thinking about the animals that live there, how they behave, how they support themselves, and how they perceive us. I know of no one who would set off into the jungles of Malaysia armed only with a bathing suit, a tube of suntan cream, and a book, and yet that’s precisely how we approach the oceans.” No longer. Not after you’ve read Shark Trouble.

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    Shark Trouble

    5.0 hrs • 1/1/02 • Unabridged
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  11. 6.1 hrs • 5/8/2001 • Abridged

    Combining rich historical detail and a harrowing, pulse-pounding narrative, Close to Shore brilliantly recreates the summer of 1916, when a rogue Great White shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and launching the most extensive shark hunt in history. During the summer before the United States entered World War I, when ocean swimming was just becoming popular and luxurious Jersey Shore resorts were thriving as a chic playland for an opulent yet still innocent era’s new leisure class, Americans were abruptly introduced to the terror of sharks. In July 1916 a lone Great White left its usual deep-ocean habitat and headed in the direction of the New Jersey shoreline. There, near the towns of Beach Haven and Spring Lake-and, incredibly, a farming community eleven miles inland—the most ferocious and unpredictable of predators began a deadly rampage: the first shark attacks on swimmers in U.S. history. For Americans celebrating an astoundingly prosperous epoch much like our own, fueled by the wizardry of revolutionary inventions, the arrival of this violent predator symbolized the limits of mankind’s power against nature. Interweaving a vivid portrait of the era and meticulously drawn characters with chilling accounts of the shark's five attacks and the frenzied hunt that ensued, Michael Capuzzo has created a nonfiction historical thriller with the texture of Ragtime and the tension of Jaws. From the unnerving inevitability of the first attack on the esteemed son of a prosperous Philadelphia physician to the spine-tingling moment when a farm boy swimming in Matawan Creek feels the sandpaper-like skin of the passing shark, Close to Shore is an undeniably gripping saga. Heightening the drama are stories of the resulting panic in the citizenry, press and politicians, and of colorful personalities such as Herman Oelrichs, a flamboyant millionaire who made a bet that a shark was no match for a man (and set out to prove it); Museum of Natural History ichthyologist John Treadwell Nichols, faced with the challenge of stopping a mythic sea creature about which little was known; and, most memorable, the rogue Great White itself moving through a world that couldn't conceive of either its destructive power or its moral right to destroy. Scrupulously researched and superbly written, Close to Shore brings to life a breathtaking, pivotal moment in American history. Masterfully written and suffused with fascinating period detail and insights into the science and behavior of sharks, Close to Shorerecounts a breathtaking, pivotal moment in American history with startling immediacy.

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    Close to Shore

    6.1 hrs • 5/8/01 • Abridged
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