Friday, May 14, 2010

Poseidon's Steed - Helen Scales

Everything you wanted to know about seahorses, but didn't know where to ask!

This is a beautiful book that anybody can enjoy!

Imagine these wonderful creatures living in the ocean- miniature horses with rolling eyes and tiny monkey's tails. It was the males that had babies - no animals do that anymore - and they changed color as if by magic and danced elegant dances every day with their faithful partners. This is how Helen Scales describes the passion of her life - seahorses; elegantly written, researched in depth, the book provides everything that one would want to know about seahorses. How did such a strange creature evolve? How does their genome look like? Not only is the biology covered in detail, Helen's researches the history starting from the Greeks, how our ancestors perceived them, covering all surviving documentation and paintings. Helen goes to the extent of looking at antiques which depict seahorses, with many interesting side stories such as the stolen seahorse brooch from the Lydian Horde in Turkey. (For more on that story see 'Loot' by Sharon Waxman)

Where would one find seahorses? What do they eat? Why is there a black market trade in seahorses? How is global warming affecting them? Find all these out in this charming and easy to read book. You wont regret buying this book.