Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: The Octopus Scientists by Sy Montgomery


With three hearts and blue blood, its gelatinous body unconstrained by jointed limbs or gravity, the octopus seems to be an alien, an inhabitant of another world. It’s baggy, boneless body sprouts eight arms covered with thousands of suckers—suckers that can taste as well as feel. The octopus also has the powers of a superhero: it can shape-shift, change color, squirt ink, pour itself through the tiniest of openings, or jet away through the sea faster than a swimmer can follow.
        But most intriguing of all, octopuses—classed as mollusks, like clams—are remarkably intelligent with quirky personalities. This book, an inquiry into the mind of an intelligent invertebrate, is also a foray into our own unexplored planet. These thinking, feeling creatures can help readers experience and understand our world (and perhaps even life itself) in a new way.


Scientists in the Field is a series that I absolutely adore.  I have yet to read one that I didn't thoroughly enjoy.  I learn a lot and the photographs are fabulous.  The Octopus Scientists is no different.  The story of the four scientists along with the author and photographer's journey to a Pacific island to study octopuses and their personalities and feeding habits drew me in from the get go (especially the photographs of the beautiful island).  The author also includes several sidebars with extra information about the scientists as well as octopuses in general.  I was fascinated to learn that what I've always thought of as the octupus 'head' is really more of a torso.  The author's experiences meeting individual Giant Pacific octupuses at an aquarium showed clearly that octopuses really do have their own personalities.  For budding scientists or young readers fascinated by the natural world will find this a compelling look at the realities and excitement of field work.

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