Showing all 15 results

  • Two Oceans A guide to the marine life of Southern Africa

    More than 2,200 species are described in this expanded, fully revised edition, which includes an additional 125 species, 260 updated species names, 190 new photographs and revised distribution maps. Bursting with life and vibrant in colour, Two Oceans is a celebration of the extraordinary diversity of life that inhabits the sea and surrounding coastline. For over 25 years, this award-winning guide has been the pre-eminent book to which scientists, students, beachcombers and divers turn to identify and learn about marine life, from sponges to fishes, birds to whales and seaweeds to dune forests.

    Key features include:
    – Expanded and revised: 125 species added and 190 new photographs
    – Accurate and up-to-date distribution maps
    – Spectacular full-colour photographs
    – Highly accomplished author team

    The authors, George and Margo Branch, Charles Griffiths and Lynnath Beckley are internationally acclaimed award-winning scientists with a passion for communicating the rich diversity of our marine world.

  • Marine Mammals: A guide to the whales, dolphins and seals of Southern Africa and the Southern Ocean

    The is easy-to-use identification guide to the whales, dolphins and seals found in Southern African waters and the Southern Ocean is compact yet comprehensive. Close to 50 species occur in the region: from the demonstrative Humpback Whale and Dusky Dolphin to the striking Leopard Seal and massive Blue Whale.

  • A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World

    Sharks are some of the most misunderstood animals on the planet. We still have much to learn about these fascinating creatures, but time is running out: sharks are more seriously threatened with extinction and in greater need of conservation and management than any other major group of vertebrates.

    A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World is the only field guide to identify, illustrate and describe every known shark species. Its compact format makes it handy for many situations, including recognising living species, fishery catches, or parts sold at markets. This expanded second edition presents lavish images, details on newly discovered species, and updated text throughout. It contains useful sections on the ID of shark teeth and shark fins most commonly encountered in the fin trade, and takes a look at shark biology, ecology and conservation.

  • Orca

    Great White sharks, attracted by an offshore seal colony, have brought success to the adjacent fishing village of Gansbaai along the southern African coast. A flourishing shark cage diving industry has sprung up, bringing jobs and money, and so benefiting almost the entire community. Tourists come from far and near to experience the thrill of a real-life brush with the legendary ‘Jaws’. Shark Town, as it has become known, is booming. Then one day, the sharks disappear. Slowly at first, but with gathering momentum, the word spreads: cage diving off Gansbaai can no longer promise the thrill of an encounter. The crowds thin, the boats remain at their moorings, and the once bustling community waits as their livelihoods tail off. Entrepreneurs and scientists alike are baffled.

    But it’s not long before shark carcasses start washing up on the beaches. These, together with some coincidental sightings of another apex predator in the vicinity, are the first leads to the possible causes and culprits. Against the clamour and thrill of the cage-diving season in full swing, Richard Peirce visits the unfolding drama and explores what’s behind these strange events.

  • Fishy Smiths HB

    The discovery of the modern-day coelacanth will forever be linked with the name of JLB Smith. An intense, irascible, eccentric man, JLB (as he was widely known) and his long-suffering wife Margaret were both remarkable South African scientists who changed the course of the biological sciences. Best known for their research on the coelacanth, they also contributed in many other ways to the scientific study of fishes (ichthyology) and related fields.

    The first comprehensive biography about JLB and Margaret Smith.

    Traces their formative years and serendipitous meeting, leading up to the discovery of the coelacanth, and the tumultuous years that followed.

    Details their punitive work ethic, eccentric and rugged lifestyle, and their astonishingly productive lives.

    A story awash with adventure, travel, discovery, risk-taking, near-death experiences – and their extraordinary contribution to science.

    Illustrated with black-and-white images of the Smiths’ fascinating lives, as well as a 16-page colour section, Mike Bruton’s lively account fills a scientific and biographical niche and will become a classic of the South African scene.

  • Fishes Okavango Delta & Chobe River

    A comprehensive guide to the freshwater fishes of the Okavango Delta and Chobe River, this book offers background information on the diverse aquatic habitats of the region and on fish feeding, breeding and survival strategies. It also provides useful hints for anglers. The species entries describe each fish in detail, with key ID points and information on habits and occurrence. Each account is accompanied by a colour illustration or photograph. The book concludes with information on how best to utilise and conserve the fishes of the delta system and Chobe River.

    This is the only such guide to fishes of the region and will be invaluable to local and visiting fishermen, naturalists, conservationists, as well as the many tourists who visit this spectacular African paradise.

  • Amazing Coelacanth

    This colourful illustrated children’s book is aimed at ages 9-14. It recounts the discovery of the first coelacanth in modern times – a fish that had been thought to be extinct for many millions of years, and was known only from its fossil record.

    In 1939, a specimen was hauled ashore in a fishing net off the South African coast near East London, and its identification as a coelacanth made world news. Chemistry professor JLB Smith identified the fish and dedicated the rest of his life to searching for live specimens and researching the science surrounding this evolutionary phenomenon.

    This book, by ichthyologist Mike Bruton, uncovers:
    the mystery of the coelacanth and the thrilling story of its discovery
    its strange appearance and lifestyle
    what makes it so special
    how it evolved – and what this has to do with human evolution
    how and what it eats, and who eats it.

    These and many other details provide insight into this amazing fish and its marine companions.

  • Living Shores of Southern Africa Vol. 1 HB

    Originally published in 1981, Living Shores was for many years the standard reference for marine science students but was also embraced by a popular market for its fascinating insights into marine and coastal habitats and the life they support. After a long absence, this classic has been revived and thoroughly reworked to incorporate the many dramatic changes that our oceans and coasts have undergone over the past few decades.

    This book is the first of a two volume set, and examines the different marine ecosystems and how humankind interacts with them. It discusses the evolution of the sea and continents and looks at the ecology of coastal systems, including intertidal zones, beaches, dunes, estuaries, islands, kelp forests and reefs. The book unpacks the relationship between humans and the marine environment, and the consequences of harvesting and mining to meet our needs. It also addresses the impact of climate change, and highlights what can be done to protect our environment.

    Richly supported by full-colour photography and numerous explanatory illustrations, diagrams and graphs, this book will prove invaluable to students and teachers but will also appeal to anyone with a fascination for nature and our marine world in particular.

  • Annotated Old Four Legs

    When the famous South African fish scientist Professor JLB Smith published Old Fourlegs – The Story of the Coelacanth in 1956 he created an international sensation. After all, this 400-million-year-old fish, known only from fossil remains, was thought to have become extinct around 66 million years ago! JLB Smith’s dramatic account of the discovery of the first and second coelacanths in 1938 and 1952 turned him into a cult figure and put South African science on the world map. His book was eventually published in six English editions and translated into nine foreign languages. Mike Bruton’s The Annotated Old Fourlegs  includes a facsimile reprint of the original book, to which he has added notes and images in the margins that provide an interesting and revealing commentary on Smith’s text, as well as new introductory and explanatory chapters that bring the coelacanth story up to date.

  • First Field Guides to Sharks, Whales & Dolphins

    Sasol First Field Guide to Sharks, Whales and Dolphins of Southern Africa provides fascinating insight into the sea creatures of the region. With the help of full-colour photographs or illustrations, distribution maps, and easy-to-read text, the young adult and budding naturalist will be able to identify the more common shark, whale and dolphin species found in southern Africa, discover where they live, and learn about their unique feeding and breeding habits.

  • Field Guide to Freshwater Life in Southern Africa

    Freshwater Life – the first illustrated field guide of its kind for the wider southern African region – describes a vast range of plant and animal groups in a single volume. A ground-breaking concept that encompasses diverse groups from the large and conspicuous vertebrates to the diverse microscopic taxa, the book facilitates identification and describes the ecology of more than 1,000 freshwater organisms.

    Species have been selected on the basis of how likely they are to be encountered, and each account is accompanied by photographs and a distribution map. A comprehensive introduction details the ecology and significance of freshwater systems. This indispensable, easy-to-use guide will prove invaluable to outdoor enthusiasts, students and conservationists.

    ‘This is a milestone work’ – Louis du Preez

    Available in softcover and with PVC jacket.

  • Reef Guide East Coast Southern Africa

    The Reef Guide documents some 800 reef fishes and invertebrates found along the east and south coasts of southern Africa. Following on the success of Dennis King’s earlier two titles, this impressive new guide features 578 species of fish and includes sections on anemones, starfish, snails, crabs and shrimps. Full colour photographs and descriptive text for each species, along with useful and interesting information, make for easy identification. While focusing on southern Africa, the book is also applicable to the entire east coast of Africa, as well as the islands of the western Indian Ocean – Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, the Comoros and the Maldives.

    Indispensable for divers, snorkelers and rock-pool enthusiasts, as well as fishermen and marine aquarists.

    CLICK HERE for a full reivew in the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research Newsletter

  • My First Book of SA Ocean Life

    My First Book of Southern African Ocean Life was selected at one of Bookchat’s non-fiction books of the year for 2011.
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    Young children will enjoy discovering the 58 fascinating ocean creatures in My First Book of Southern African Ocean Life, which range in size from the earth’s largest animal – the blue whale – to the tiniest plankton.

    This newest title in the popular My first book series offers:
    * vibrantly colourful, detailed, accurate illustrations of each creature
    * short, accessible texts with information that will satisfy the curiosity of both those who are learning to read and of young listeners
    * simple pictograms that show at a glance where each species can be found, what it eats and its relative size

    All text appears in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu

    Click here for review

  • My First Book of Southern Africa Seashore Life

    My First Book of Southern African Seashore Life is the latest title in this successful children’s series. The book presents 58 sea creatures and plants that are likely to be seen at the shore.

    An illustrated introduction gives context to the subject, and then for each species there’s:
    * a vivid, full-colour illustration
    * simple, informative text
    * visual clues about the creatures’ diet, size, distribution round our coast, locomotion and exactly where they live relative to the water line.

    This beautiful and inspiring introduction to southern Africa’s shores will appeal to children – and parents – of all ages.

    All text appears in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu

    Click here for review

  • African Seashores to Read, Colour & Keep

    Children will enjoy hours of fun colouring in this selection of our most striking seashore life – more than 40 of the brightest, most fascinating, commonly known creatures and plants from our local shores. In the middle of the book is a full-colour gallery of all the featured shore life, giving a clear guide as to which shade of crayon or paint to use when colouring in the outlined images throughout the book. As they work through the book, budding artists and inquisitive children will also be able to pick up snippets of knowledge about the creatures, such as how the colourful sea anemone overpowers its prey; whether the sponge is an animal; how the starfish pulls its stomach outside of its body to eat; why the hermit crab’s homes are all second-hand; and the bag of tricks used by that master of disguise, the octopus.