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Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by bobby a., Oct 3, 2007.

  1. bobby a.

    bobby a. Cuttlefish Registered

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    does anyone know of and where i can get any good books on cephalopods in general. something about the history, species id, ect.??
     
  2. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    You might try your local library... or...

    Amazon.com

    June 2007 issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist if you can find a copy, as well as Coral magazine having one entire mag dedicated to octopus species and husbandry.
     
  3. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Unfortunately, there's no one book I know of that covers all of that. There are a few books that attempt to catalog cephs for identification. One of the most popular is Mark Norman's Cephalopods: A World Guide which has great color pictures, but is sometimes vague on the details. A lot of academics seem to favor Cephalopods of the World by Kir Nesis (translated from Russian) but it's primarily a catalog for identification based on counting numbers of suckers on tentacle clubs or the details of the funnel locking aparatus, so it's not so useful unless you need to ID dead animals you can dissect... it's also quite expensive. Another catalog that has the advantage of being free is the downloadable FAO species catalog. The revised volume 1 is here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0150e/a0150e00.htm and the older version with all 3 volumes pre-revision is here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ac479e/ac479e00.htm

    For the history, I recommend Peter Ward's Natural History of the Nautilus and Monks & Palmer's Ammonites for an overview, although both really focus on the shelled cephalopods, since there are so few fossils of cephalopod soft body parts. The fossils and history articles here on TONMO are among the best references I know of for this sort of thing if you want something more accessible than the academic papers.

    In a "popular science" and "general interest" sense, Richard Ellis has written several books about deep ocean critters, many of which feature cephs to some degree. The most ceph-specific one is The Search for the Giant Squid, which also has some info on not-so-giant squids. His books tend to be less about dry facts and more about entertaining anecdotes, which makes them fun reads but not always the best references for details.

    Although it's not directly related to the topics you asked about, Hanlon & Messenger's Cephalopod Behavior has a lot of good overview of cephalopod science in general, although of course it focuses on behavior primarily. It's also quite a bit cheaper than some of the other academic references, like the Nesis book I mentioned above, and Nixon & Young, both of which have a lot of details about anatomy and nervous systems that are great references for academic study, but more aimed at professionals studying squids. The sadly out of print Octopus by Wells is one of the few books that strikes a balance, where someone who's interested can learn a lot because it doesn't have a lot of language that only people who have studied marine biology know.

    I've been eyeing this book, Boyle and Rodhouse Cephalopods on Amazon, and all this book reviewing just got me impulse-shopping enough to order it; I'll report back when I get it. When I ordered it, it said "only one left in stock," but it also still says that after I ordered it. Note that you can read the table of contents in Amazon's "look inside" option.

    Anyway, that's my :twocents: book reviews. We actually have a book review section down near the bottom of the "articles" section, but it hasn't had any new reviews in a while. I should write up some reviews of the books I have while I'm "between jobs" and liven that section up a bit!
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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  5. shipposhack

    shipposhack Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    That book does look really cool. I dunno that I would spend $300 on it, but if I had some extra money (and could convince myself not to buy something to go in my tank with or equipment ^^) I would get a copy.
     
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    The Boyle and Rodhouse is interesting (I bought a copy a few months ago)- but note that the subtitle is Ecology and Fisheries.

    Nancy
     
  7. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    That one (Nixon & Young) is great, and I did pay the $300 for it, but it's also worth noting that most of it is about very hardcore neuroanatomy, so a lot of the cost is in reproducing detailed histology slices through cephalopod brains. If you want to see slides of the layers in the vampyroteuthis optic lobes, it's great, but it's about 80% neuroanatomy details, and the rest is mostly comparative morphology of various other sorts.

    I quoted some representative text out of it in this thread:

    http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/6172/&highlight="nixon+young"

    if that sort of stuff appeals to you, it's a great book, but if it doesn't, there are very few pictures of live animals or general discussions, mostly just brain slices and dry descriptions.
     

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