[[ read online Best ]] Poseidon's Steed The Story of Seahorses, from Myth to Reality Author Helen Scales – Andy-palmer.co.uk

Poseidon's Steed The Story of Seahorses, from Myth to Reality I picked up some interesting bits of trivia from this, but unfortunately it was an underwhelming, clunky, slow read that plodded along rather dully and often digressed into long discussions about things that had little to do with the main topic With a name like Helen Scales, the author seems like the perfect person to chronicle sea life, but she s clearlymarine biologist than writer I did enjoy the section on the Victorian origins of aquarium keeping, but the rest was not at all engaging I picked up some interesting bits of trivia from this, but unfortunately it was an underwhelming, clunky, slow read that plodded along rather dully and often digressed into long discussions about things that had little to do with the main topic With a name like Helen Scales, the author seems like the perfect person to chronicle sea life, but she s clearlymarine biologist than writer I did enjoy the section on the Victorian origins of aquarium keeping, but the rest was not at all engaging I really liked this book It was very easy to read and follow That is not true of all science, nature, ecology, etc books I completely disagree with her premise on that we should protect seahorses just because they are cool Yes, they are cool and remind at least some people of the magic and wonder of the sea But I believe they are a good barometer of the health of the water in that area It is a point she touched on, then quickly skipped back to her because they are awesome argument Maybe I really liked this book It was very easy to read and follow That is not true of all science, nature, ecology, etc books I completely disagree with her premise on that we should protect seahorses just because they are cool Yes, they are cool and remind at least some people of the magic and wonder of the sea But I believe they are a good barometer of the health of the water in that area It is a point she touched on, then quickly skipped back to her because they are awesome argument Maybe address why they wouldn t be good barometers I mean, that would be easy They are hard to spot and detect Therefore, other fish might be better at that job I was also left with other questions Are there freshwater seahorses If not, why Can Cape Seahorses live places other than Cape Hope I think that s where they are But all in all, it was a good book that I would recommend to others It s ironic that while trying so hard to convince readers how amazing and fascinating seahorses are, the book actually gave me the exact opposite impression Are seahorses really so boring that a book on them would have to resort to using flowery, dramatic language romantic under the sea re enactments of seahorse copulation, etc , random and arguably irrelevant stories that just happen to include sculptures of seahorses, etc , lengthy descriptions of traditional Chinese medicine for erect It s ironic that while trying so hard to convince readers how amazing and fascinating seahorses are, the book actually gave me the exact opposite impression Are seahorses really so boring that a book on them would have to resort to using flowery, dramatic language romantic under the sea re enactments of seahorse copulation, etc , random and arguably irrelevant stories that just happen to include sculptures of seahorses, etc , lengthy descriptions of traditional Chinese medicine for erectile dysfunction, etc and random pop culture references Disney s The Little Mermaid, etc as fillers Is there really so little to say about seahorses I refuse to believe that they re really just that boring Some examples We re told the story of the Lydian Hoard in a great amount of detail The author s justification for this detour is that one of the pieces in the hoard was a golden seahorse The story is re enacted in a dramatic style Inside, the tomb was silent, cool and still Beneath a thousand year darkness hid a vast treasure trove, an unimaginable Aladdin s cave Outside, the hot desert lay stretched out like an unending yellow carpet with eye stinging sand that danced through the midday wind In Chapter 2 An A Z of Seahorses I assumed we would finally get onto the sciencey bit of the book, only to discover that the majority of the surprisingly short chapter was filled with paragraphs like this Like a chameleon s, a seahorse s eyes can move independently of each other, essential for spotting specks of potential food floating all around them in the water column West African folklore warns us to fear chameleons because it is said they can look into your future and into your past at the same time Perhaps the same goes for seahorses I thought we were done with the chapter on mythology This myth isn t even about seahorses and Right now, somewhere in the world, early morning sunbeams pierce through shallow water like spokes of a wheel and cast quivering pools of brightness on the seagrass meadow below The night shift has ended and diurnal creatures begin to emerge from sleeping hideaways grazing rabbitfish, bucktoothed parrotfish, and feisty damselfish tending their farms of algae Two tiny silhouettes come together like a pair of knights on a chessboard The seahorses greet each other with a nose to nose caress and, wrapping their tails around a single blade of grass, they begin a seductive dance The last chapter Why Seahorses Matter was the most shocking of them all In this chapter the author lists and discusses books, TV shows and movies that have seahorses in them in order to demonstrate how Seahorses have also, for decades, infiltrated popular culture where they tell a host of different stories from the ocean The list includes The Life Aquatic, Caroline and the Sea Horse, The Little Mermaid, Pokemon, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and a 1990 s British indie band called The Seahorses So seahorses matter primarily because of their roles in pop culture Perhaps the only useful line in the entire book for me was the one referencing the book The Sea Horse and Its Relatives 1958 by Gilbert Whitley and Joyce Allan which oddly enough I can t seem to find on Goodreads , maybe that will prove to be areadable and informative book Everybody likes seahorses Seahorses are members of the Syngnathidae family of fish which includes seahorses, pipefishes, and sea dragons Even though they don t do muchthan twine their tails around a bit of seaweed and hang around eating and creatingseahorses they are odd and charming little creatures that have made their way into myth and popular culture In Poseidon s Steed author Helen Scales discusses everything seahorse including their role in myth and culture, their natura Everybody likes seahorses Seahorses are members of the Syngnathidae family of fish which includes seahorses, pipefishes, and sea dragons Even though they don t do muchthan twine their tails around a bit of seaweed and hang around eating and creatingseahorses they are odd and charming little creatures that have made their way into myth and popular culture In Poseidon s Steed author Helen Scales discusses everything seahorse including their role in myth and culture, their natural history, and the threats to their survival from environmental degradation, fishing and their use in traditional medicine Scales has a very pleasant writing style which is easy to read and keeps the subject matter interesting.I have two criticisms of the book, one minor and one less so My minor critique is that the glossy photographs in the center of the book are all black and white Seahorses are extremely colorful surely the cost of publishing color photos could not have been overly prohibitive More significantly, in the section discussing traditional medicine Scales is hesitant to call these practices out for the complete and utter nonsense that they are There is absolutely no empirical evidence to suggest that the crushed powder of a seahorse carcass will result in enhanced male virility Deference to pre scientific, environmentally destructive hocus pocus only serves to perpetuate the myth Given a choice between cultural sensitivity and species extinction, let s agree to protect the species Giving this four stars because I love seahorses and because it s an enjoyable science and exploration read Came across this one on the sale table at U Bookstore The author covers both the mythic and the factual history of seahorses, sea dragons and pipefish She does a great job talking about the impact of fisheries and climate change on these small, odd little creatures And there are pictures of seahorses Parts of the book are interesting, parts are digressions I get she loves Seahorses, but I could have used a little , Seahorse facts. Poseidon s Steed is a short, interesting read I sold myself on this book that it would besciency The author, after all, is a marine biologist and so I thought it would have ain depth look at the biology and evolution of the seahorse And so I wanted to give the book a lower rating since it didn t live up to what I thought it was about.But, the book, like its subtitle says, is about The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality Dr Helen Scales is passionate about marine biology a Poseidon s Steed is a short, interesting read I sold myself on this book that it would besciency The author, after all, is a marine biologist and so I thought it would have ain depth look at the biology and evolution of the seahorse And so I wanted to give the book a lower rating since it didn t live up to what I thought it was about.But, the book, like its subtitle says, is about The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality Dr Helen Scales is passionate about marine biology and, in particular, seahorses, and it comes across in her writing and knowledge.Her tangents on mythology and herbal medicines are fascinating to read but I would rather have had adetailed description of the life and anatomy of seahorses and their relatives, the pipefish and sea dragons The prelude too was confusing It was less about seahorses andabout the diving history of the author as she, for many years, kept an eye out for her first sighting of a wild seahorse It was an interesting side story but that s about it.Then, too, there were her disappointing notes referencing Wikipedia I don t mind Wikipedia being referenced in a review of a book but in an actual science based book by a PH.D No There are around seven references to information she gleaned from Wikipedia Sorry, but that is unacceptable by someone writing a science book or scientific article She should have taken the time to dive a little deeper and find a better source Seven is not that many to take the short amount of time to research I understand it s not in the bibliography but is in the notes footnotes still should have pointed to a better reference It makes her look amateurish and less trustworthy Poseidon s Steed is I should have known all about seahorses I really love good popular science books, which is why I decided to read this one at a friend s insistence Although there was enough of interest to get me through this short book, and it was written well enough to keep me reading, I have to say that I was pretty disappointed In short, the book never really transcended its very narrow focus, and although I now know a lotabout seahorses than I ever thought I would, the book did Poseidon s Steed is I should have known all about seahorses I really love good popular science books, which is why I decided to read this one at a friend s insistence Although there was enough of interest to get me through this short book, and it was written well enough to keep me reading, I have to say that I was pretty disappointed In short, the book never really transcended its very narrow focus, and although I now know a lotabout seahorses than I ever thought I would, the book didn t really make me think about anything that hasn t already been pounded into my head by Discovery channel ocean documentaries In the chapter Why Seahorses Matter the author offers scant evidence of how the seahorse has shaped culture and attitudes towards the ocean I could tell she was reaching for evidence when she mentioned a seahorse character in one of the straight to VHS Little Mermaid sequels as proof that humans are drawn to the strange creatures This would have been a great article in Best American Science and Nature writing But at 10 times the length of a typical article, I d pass I have been enchanted by seahorses for a very long time, so much so that my parents considered buying me a couple for my birthday a few years ago Thankfully they decided not to after considering the ethical issues I might have with it Anyway, this book got me so excited when I found it It s sat on my shelf calling to me for a couple of months and I finally gave in.The text starts with a prelude completely about the author Not exactly what I was hoping for and a bit self gratifying but OK, wh I have been enchanted by seahorses for a very long time, so much so that my parents considered buying me a couple for my birthday a few years ago Thankfully they decided not to after considering the ethical issues I might have with it Anyway, this book got me so excited when I found it It s sat on my shelf calling to me for a couple of months and I finally gave in.The text starts with a prelude completely about the author Not exactly what I was hoping for and a bit self gratifying but OK, whatever The main body of the book is Ummm Not well organised to me The first half of the book is light on seahorse biology and ecology and heavy on seahorses in history, art and traditional Chinese medicine Speaking of Traditional Chinese medicine, she went into it in quite a bit of detail for book that is meant to be about seahorses Yes, context is important but she spent pages delving into the theory behind diagnosis, its origins and why the dim view the west has of it is by on large incorrect and not nearly as much highlighting the negatives of medicines derived from endangered species that have been scientifically proven to have zero medical benefits The latter half of the book was better but it just couldn t claw another star out of me Scales writing is fine but I was glad the book wasn t much longer as I was struggling Oh, and get this Wikipedia Yup, you read correctly is cited as a source reference no less than Seven times SEVEN Once can be written off as desperation but seven is lazy and quite frankly unnecessary Even in an undergraduate degree you d be seriously foolhardy to reference Wikipedia and this woman has a Ph.D Also, some of the text notes would have fared much better in the main text body and would have addeddetailed information and a better reading experience As my rating suggest this book is just OK It pains me that this was my lowest rated popular science textbook I wanted it to be magical The next seahorse book I pick up will be written by an expert A Fascinating Journey With The Sea Creature That Has Captured Human Imagination For Thousands Of Years Poseidon S Steed Trails The Seahorse Through Secluded Waters Across The Globe In A Kaleidoscopic History That Mirrors Man S Centuries Old Fascination With The Animal, Sweeping From The Reefs Of Indonesia, Through The Back Streets Of Hong Kong, And Back In Time To Ancient Greece And Rome Over Time, Seahorses Have Surfaced In Some Unlikely Places We See Them Immortalized In The Decorative Arts In Tribal Folklore, Literature, And Ancient Myth And Even On The Pages Of The Earliest Medical Texts, Prescribed To Treat Everything From Skin Complaints To Baldness To Flagging Libido Marine Biologist Helen Scales Eloquently Shows That Seahorses Are Indeed Fish, Though Scientists Have Long Puzzled Over Their Exotic Anatomy, And Their Very Strange Sex Lives Male Seahorses Are The Only Males In The Animal World That Experience Childbirth Our First Seahorse Imaginings Appeared Six Thousand Years Ago On Cave Walls In Australia The Ancient Greeks Called The Seahorse Hippocampus Half Horse, Half Fish And Sent It Galloping Through The Oceans Of Mythology, Pulling The Sea God Poseidon S Golden Chariot The Seahorse Has Even Been The Center Of A Modern Day International Art Scandal A Two Thousand Year Old Winged Seahorse Brooch Was Plundered By Turkish Tomb Raiders And Sold To The Metropolitan Museum Of Art In New York A Book That Is As Charming As The Seahorse Itself, Poseidon S Steed Brings To Life An Aquatic TreasureSeahorses Lead Quiet Lives, Tucked Away Out Of Sight On The Seafloor It Is Rare To Catch A Glimpse Of A Seahorse In Its Natural Habitat But Even If Few Have Seen One Live, These Exotic, Seemingly Prehistoric Creatures Exist Quite Vividly In Our Imaginations And They Have Mesmerized Scientists, Artists, And Storytellers Throughout Time With Their Otherworldly Rarity Poseidon S Steed Is A Sweeping Journey That Takes Us From The Coral Reefs And Seagrass Meadows Of Indonesia Where Many Seahorses Makes Their Natural Habitat To The Back Streets Of Hong Kong Where A Thriving Black Market Seahorse Trade Is Concealed Throughout History, Seahorses Have Surfaced In Some Unexpected Places And Scales Also Follows The Seahorse Back In Time, From Our Most Rudimentary Seahorse Imaginings Six Thousand Years Ago On Cave Walls In Australia, To The Myths Of Ancient Greece Scientists Have Long Puzzled Over Seahorses Unusual Anatomy And Their Very Strange Sex Lives And Male Seahorses Are The Only Males In The Animal World That Experience Childbirth Seahorses Are Not What Scientists Call A Keystone Species They Rely On A Healthy Ocean To Survive, But The Marine Ecosystem Does Not Rely On Them But Their Delicate Beauty Reminds Us That We Rely On The Seas Not Only To Fill Our Dinner Plates, But Also To Feed Our Imaginations


About the Author: Helen Scales

In their review of my first book, Poseidon s Steed, the Economist called me The aptly named Helen Scales and I guess they re right I do have a bit of a thing about fish get it.Across the airways and in print, I m noted for my distinctive and occasionally offbeat voice that combines a scuba diver s devotion to exploring the oceans, a scientist s geeky attention to detail, a conservationist s angst about the state of the planet, and a storyteller s obsession with words and ideas.I have a Cambridge PhD and a monofin, I ve drunk champagne with David Attenborough and talked seahorse sex on the Diane Rehm show I spent four years on and off chasing after big fish in Borneo and another year cataloguing marine life surrounding 100 Andaman Sea islands.These days I write books and articles, I make podcasts and radio, travel the world in search of stories, and do my best to spend as much time as I can in the sea as a scuba diver, free diver and rookie surfer I m a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the steering committee for the Museum of Curiosity I m also a proud aunt, I sew dresses, grow organic vegetables, put on high heels and dance Argentine tango, play piano, sing in the shower, and make a mess in a printmaking studio.


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