With such a delicious title like Poseidon’s Steed, how could I resist writing a book review? I’ve already reviewed Neptune’s Ark, so it seemed fitting to review a title that paid tribute to the god of the sea’s Greek counterpoint.
If you are looking for your perfect summer read (biology-themed, of course), then Poseidon’s Steed: The Story of Seahorses from Myth to Reality is perfect.
Written by marine biologist and SeaMonster blog contributor Helen Scales, Ph.D, I would definitely reccommend this book for the beach (and I’m not the first, Carl Safina also thinks its a good beach read).
If you are looking for a graduate-level description of seahorse biology, look elsewhere.
One of the strongest points of this book is its accessibility. It brings the history, wonder, and science of seahorses to the casual (but curious) reader.
Although I have always been fascinated with seahorses, I had no idea they were part of the mystery surrounding stolen treasure.
I knew that in a strange reversal of the norm, the males became pregnant, but I didn’t know the evolutionary theory behind their unusual pouch.
Scales tells the whole story of seahorses, right up to the relatively recent discovery of dwarf seahorses. Despite descriptions of the challenges that face seahorse survival, such as their popularity in chinese medicine), the book retained its upbeat tone.The people who recognize the environmental threats to seahorses and set aside areas for seahorse protection are reason enough for optimism.
Scales informs readers, without sending them into depression like the never ending tales of environmental woe are prone to do.
Add this fascinating (and never stressful) read to your summer reading list.
On a side note: I’m very happy that someone with a last name like “Scales” is a marine biologist.
Reviews of biology-themed science books are posted regularly. Previous book: Mutants. For more book reviews, click the book review tab. Book Reviews by Kallen are also available on GeekyLibrary, where she is a regular contributor.