- By Ellen Prager

Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter

  • Title: Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
  • Author: Ellen Prager
  • ISBN: 9780226678726
  • Page: 437
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sex Drugs and Sea Slime The Oceans Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter When viewed from a quiet beach the ocean with its rolling waves and vast expanse can seem calm even serene But hidden beneath the seaand reminding us of the need to protect it

    When viewed from a quiet beach, the ocean, with its rolling waves and vast expanse, can seem calm, even serene But hidden beneath the seaand reminding us of the need to protect it.

    1 thought on “Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter

    1. Prager takes a tack in this book that I've been noticing more frequently in non-fiction books. Each chapter ends in a section basically called (to paraphrase) "Who Give A Fuck?"¹ This details the human uses, or potential uses, of the organism being discussed e.g. "In Korea, the deslimed skin of hagfishes is used to make 'eel skin' products such as handbags, shoes, wallets and briefcases" (p. 30).Presumably this is what readers want and therefore how publishers direct writers to approach the mat [...]

    2. In a world in which what most people know about science could be nestled comfortably inside a toothpaste cap, Prager joins the ranks of such “popularizers” and “divulgators” of the arcane and mysterious “ologies” as E.O. Wilson, Lewis Thomas, Stephen Jay Gould, and even, in his way, Farley Mowatt. In other words, with writers like these for colleagues, popular-science writers face a bar that is set fairly high. Prager, however, doesn’t even bother to stretch. As her title suggests, [...]

    3. I eagerly awaited for this book to come in to the library, as I adore weird sea creatures. They give credence to the ideas that the world is full of wonders, and science can be crazy interesting. I unfortunately found this book a bit of a disappointment. There were, indeed, many wondrous creatures to behold. Sea cucumbers can apparently eject their inner organs when threatened. Hagfish emit an astonishing amount of slime. And don’t even get me started on sea stars, whose many sucker-filled arm [...]

    4. I hated this book! It kept me from doing my homework, I wasn't even able to eat (and that's hard). I couldn’t put it down for a single second.This book focused on several marine organisms, from the smartest of cephalopods to the stinging cnidarians. I loved how at the end of each chapter the author wrote why these organisms were important and how they affected us. The writer has an amazing sense of humor, thus the title, Sex Drugs and Sea slime. She is a very creative author when introducing [...]

    5. I love it; this is, in fact, my second reading. It's probably not everybody's cup of mucus, but if you'd like to learn more about some of the odder creatures of the ocean, with plenty of facts and tons of slime, but with a gentle humor to keep it from being a dry, scholarly experience, then this is your book. Prager admits she threw in the sex because everybody wants to read about sex, but it's not a tease - she tells you in family-friendly scientific prose about the mating behaviors of each ani [...]

    6. Despite the promising title, I didn't actually finish this book. I'm kind of surprised that it was put out by University of Chicago Press. Like, it's all factual I'm sure, but the writing is very repetitive and none of the information has stayed with me. Basically, she'll take a sea creature, tell you what it looks like, any distinguishing features/behaviors that it has, tell you how it mates, and bring up some use that modern medicine has found for it. Over and over. It's just uninspired. Peter [...]

    7. There's a lot of really fascinating stuff in here, but does this book need more pictures! Prager goes through long explanations of what these weird creatures look like, but a picture would really do the job better. Anyway, her love of weird creatures is evident, and there's a ton of fascinating stuff. But there's also some rather mundane stuff, and the "what's important about these creatures" in every chapter gets a little repetitive--food chain, possible pharmaceuticals, blah blah. I would real [...]

    8. This book gives me the oddly-discordant sensation of feeling talked-down-to and front-loaded with too much information at the same time.The text is not compelling nor informative. It's ironic that the book puports to show us a world of alien creatures living among us, yet fails to give us any sort of firm footing into what they are actually like. It's far too dumbed-down for that, and far too dumbed-down to carry itself without pictures embedded in the text. It's like reading the narration scrip [...]

    9. A book about the stranger creatures of the ocean told with a whimsical style. Each chapter is a general overview of a category of strange creatures and then its broken up by each individual animal in that category. It is a perfect bathroom book and is small enough that it doesn't overstay its welcome.

    10. At least the pictures were 💯A little bit dumbed down for me, and a little too much of convincing people we should only care about the ocean and its creatures based on how much economic value and impact to human life they hold.

    11. The pattern in the chapters got a little wearing, but the writing was clear and humorous; the subjects interesting

    12. Despite its racy, Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime is actually a fairly tame overview of marine life. Each chapter features a group of species sharing some common trait, giving a few facts for each before the chapter closes with a "why they matter" section (which usually covers edibility and medicinal uses).As intended, it was the title of the book that really caught my attention. Unfortunately, I only got a few paragraphs in before I knew that I was in trouble. While the title promises humour, the na [...]

    13. Secrets of a Hidden World.If there is a final frontier on Earth then it must be in the ocean. In many ways we know more about the Moon than we do about this watery realm. And there is life everywhere, from the tropics to the poles, in incredible numbers and diversity. In her book: Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime author Ellen Prager spotlights some of the strange and wonderful creatures that call the sea their home. Ranging in size from microscopic bacteria and plankton to the largest sharks, kelp, wha [...]

    14. The ocean is home to a myriad of intriguing species: tiny phytoplankton that produce much of the oxygen in our atmosphere; slimy hagfish; killer cone snails; Caribbean lobsters that migrate single file to deeper waters after the first autumn tropical storm; and mighty carnivores like orca whales and polar bears. In Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime, Ellen Prager describes these and enough other species to give the reader a sense of the wondrous diversity of life that oceans support.Prager clearly hopes t [...]

    15. This is a warm and enjoyable survey of the less charismatic, but perhaps more important, forms of marine life. Prager writes in a light and humorous style, and her passion for these creatures comes through on every page. Breaking from the norm in a biological survey book, Prager does not arrange her book along taxonomic lines, but rather according to behavioral attributes (with the exception of the chapter on snails). In one chapter, she creates a fictional X-games to describe deep-diving, fast- [...]

    16. This was a fun and informative book, some of the humor to me felt a bit flat, like the author was trying to hard to be clever, but it was clear how much she enjoys her subject and that comes through clearly.Each chapter is broken down into groups of animals and gives a lot of details into their lives without feeling bogged down and each chapter ends with a look at how these creatures benefit our world and our lives, it's a shame we need to be given reasons to want to protect these species and th [...]

    17. This was a short, easy book to read. The reading difficulty appears to be about high-school level. The author describes a wide variety of animals that live in the oceans. Many of them were quite strange and unfamiliar. This book is a good starting point for choosing which creatures to read more specialized books about. The invertebrate animals were the most interesting to me: zooplankton, salps, copepods, arrow worms, pteropods, siphonophores, and hagfish. There was lots of information on sex an [...]

    18. Ellen Prager does a fantastic job showing us was lurks in the oceans. Written in a layman's voice yet bringing the science to the forefront, she demonstrates the amazing creatures of the sea while relating it to "Why they matter." A positive, fun look at the strangest habits of the everything from bacteria to whales, all the while, helping us understand the importance in protecting and saving our greatest resource, the oceans. The photo plates embedded within the text bring to life some of the o [...]

    19. I first had a bit of difficulty getting into the book because though it was not a large volume the typography was jammed in to the point that for me it made reading it a big tedious. Once I got into it I found it do be interesting and fascinating in many ways. The diversity and unusual things found in the oceans is pretty amazing. The conclusion delves into the ecological perils that we have created in our consumer oriented world that puts the balance of life in some jeopardy. It is easy to dism [...]

    20. Fascinating. Fascinating. The world is full of strange creatures, especially the sea. The descriptions were brief and left me wanting more, but I suppose that's difficult because creatures in the sea are so difficult to observe. I was already familiar with a lot that she had to say, but I learned a lot of interesting new information too, and enjoyed reading about the old again anyway. Not a second read book, though, once was enough. A lot of talk about slime.

    21. Mediocre writing, but FASCINATING information! I would love to see this as a series of awesome nonfiction picture books, a la Nic Bishop. I think Prager's got the knack for describing in an accessible way, and that would parlay beautifully into a really good series of well-photographed, pithy, super neat nonfiction.

    22. As promised, this book provided an entertaining look at some of the very unusual animals in the ocean. I am now fully informed as to the peculiar habits of the bone-eating zombie snot worm. My only complaint? The book was too short I would have liked to learn a little more about some of these undersea weirdos.

    23. Very shallow in its coverage. If you have even a basic knowledge of marine life, you'll find little that is new or interesting. Would have like more detail in the "why they matter sections". We eat them and there are some potential drugs to be made from them is the general gist, but again not enough depth.

    24. I really liked reading this book! I got it on my Kindle and I'm thinking I may want to buy the physical book, so I have the pictures in color. It's a great way to learn about a lot of things that live below the surface of our oceans. This would make a great book for people who don't think about what we get out of this vast natural resource.

    25. Meh, lots of facts presented in a somewhat interesting voice. However, nothing was tied together. It just seemed like a long series of blog posts. The author tried to cover too much and left me wanting more information on the few things that really interested me. I really wanted to like this more than I did.

    26. A relatively short exploration of some of the curiosities of the ocean, and their importance within their ecosystems and ours. This is a very user friendly book, designed for laypeople to be easy to understand and concise without seeming juvenile. Very interesting and not overly time -consuming, certainly worth a read.

    27. Although I think there was a fair bit of interesting material here, I really didn't like how this book was written. I kept finding my mind wandering. It was written a lot more like an essay than a book. The title and cover were great, and I think that had she written it more like a book and less like a paper for submission to a journal, it would have moved up a few stars in my rating.

    28. An interesting topic, but the writing often feels like a highschool essay. Could have used heavy editing. The content is also fairly shallow; I assume this book was aimed at teenagers, and that audience might find more to enjoy here than I did.

    29. a VERY fun book exploring the ocean at its coolest (yes, sometimes literally). highly recommended for anyone interested in science or just plain cool stuff. very easy to read but still leaves you with a great amount of interesting information.

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