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Peter Batson writing as a scientist is constantly aware of his readers, and uses images familiar to them to make new concepts comprehensible. The written text is highlighted by the remarkable photographs and diagrams. My interest in Deep New Zealand: Blue Water, Black Abyss was captured from the moment I began reading and I found that my fears that I would be unable to cope with a book about marine biology - a science of which I had no knowledge - were groundless. The photographs, mainly taken by Kim Westerskov, and the diagrams with their clear explanatory notes clarify the factual material in the text and encourage even the novice in marine biology to keep reading.

The introduction to the book demonstrates Peter's skill in drawing readers into enjoyment of his subject. He highlights the attraction that the deep sea holds for those looking for a true wilderness with the hallmarks of inaccessibility and vastness, pointing out that most areas formerly regarded as wilderness, like the Amazon, the Sahara desert, Mt Everest and the South Pole have been penetrated and populated.

He stresses the size of the deep sea covering two thirds of the world's surface, and compares our present knowledge of land diversity with what we know of ocean diversity. He likens our progress in exploring the deep sea with the first European explorers coming back from Africa with tales of strange and seemingly incredible animals. Reading the book confirmed the appropriateness of this analogy as it is full of photographs of strange new creatures.
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  • Seller location: Wellington City, Wellington, NZ

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