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Life in the Dark

Hardcover
, 312 pages

446 color photos

ISBN:
9781421418636
April 2016
$39.95

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Life in the Dark

Illuminating Biodiversity in the Shadowy Haunts of Planet Earth

Honorable Mention, Technical Text from Washington Publishers, FY17

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Deep inside caves, at the bottoms of oceans and lakes, beneath the ground: these concealed habitats are absent of sunlight. This strange and fascinating world of complete darkness is not a solitary place—it is inhabited by millions of life forms. Yet most humans—creatures of daylight—have never seen any of them. Until now.

In this fascinating—sometimes eerie—book, extreme wildlife photographer and scientist Danté Fenolio brings the denizens of these shadowy haunts into focus. Life in the Dark shows us the many ways in which life forms have adapted to lightless environments, including refinements of senses, evolution of unique body parts, and illumination using "biological flashlights."

With more than 200 mesmerizing color photographs, Life in the Dark unveils bizarre creatures like the firefly squid, the giant Amazonian catfish, the Chinese cavefish, and even the human bot fly, which lives in the darkness beneath its host’s skin. Fenolio’s rich and vibrant images shed new light on the world’s fascinating creatures of darkness.

Danté Fenolio, a zoologist, biologist, and wildlife photographer, is the director of conservation and research at the San Antonio Zoo.

"A well illustrated introduction to [deep sea] creatures!"

"In this intriguing text, Danté Fenolio takes readers on a remarkable tour of some of the most unique and extreme environments on Earth. From the abyssal depths of the deep ocean to the subterranean worlds of caves, this impressive collection of photographic essays provides a celebration of biodiversity in realms that exist in perpetual darkness."

"... mesmerizing..."

"... amazing and full of detail... a must read"

"If Edgar Allan Poe had been a nature photographer, he might have written a story with the following title: Life in the Dark... Fenolio’s photography will capture anyone’s attention. The writing is also excellent, with a conservation thread that runs throughout the book."

"Life in the Dark is a coffee-table-book-sized hardcover that immediately entrances and sucks you in like an addictive thriller. The design features glossy black pages that help give a sense of the dark depths of the oceans of our planet. The pictures and photography are spectacular, with incredible detail and color. The book is also packed with information on different fish and watery wildlife from below, showing just how complicated and fascinating nature can get in an ecosystem of darkness with a pressure level that would squash an ordinary person as flat as a pancake."

"With more than 200 first-class photographs accompanied by informative texts this author portrays the large diversity of these organisms living in lightless settings as well as pictures of these environments... Fenolio is a rare combination of someone with a doctorate in biology but who happens to be one of the best wildlife photographers around."

"... I devoured this book; I read it like a novel while I marveled at the images. Marveled at the magnificent diversity of life on earth. Marveled at the beauty of evolution. If you’re a naturalist, if you consider yourself in biodiversity’s fan club, even if you just like a good photograph: buy this book. You will not be disappointed. It will open your eyes to a part of the planet that you likely have never seen or even pondered."

"Fenolio's book showcases these rarely seen creatures in all their glory. From bioluminescent sea-life to creatures with refined senses to help them survive sans sunlight, Life in the Dark highlights these unbelievable creatures like never before."

"Danté Fenolio's Life in the Dark: Illuminating Biodiversity in the Shadowy Haunts of Planet Earth reads like an unlikely cross between a deeply informative — yet easily digested — textbook and a slick coffee table book of obscure wildlife photography... Through crystal-clear visions of creatures clad in both flamboyant neon skins and prehistoric-looking camouflage getups, biodiversity takes center stage in dramatic fashion."

"... to say that the photography of such a difficult and diverse subject is utterly stunning is to give poor credit... Think of Life in the Dark as a picture-rich, inspiring and personal journey by a naturalist through the world’s more unusual forms of nature, accompanied by readable text and comment designed to draw you into learning more... If you have the slightest interest in nature, let alone caves, this book will captivate you."

"Life In The Dark: Illuminating Biodiversity in the Shadowy Haunts of Planet Earth takes readers on a spectacular photographic tour of the places that our eyes alone could never show us: the unfathomable pitch black darkness of the deep ocean and caves and rivers far below the earth’s surface... If there’s one lesson [it] teaches, it’s that the complexity and diversity of life is far greater than most of us could possibly imagine."

"Highly recommended."

"I can’t imagine anyone not liking Life in the Dark. There is something for everyone here. The sheer number of beautiful and unique images is enough to make most ASIH members swoon. But there is a lot more here to draw inspiration from too. Buy this book!"

"Fenolio has done the impossible- he has produced a scientific coffee table book. This large format volume contains more than 200 stunning color photographs and an excellent text that includes references for those who want to know more. Although written to be accessible by the general public, the references and glossary make this a book that will appeal to a very wide rang of readers interested in natural history."

"With brilliant photography and illuminating words, this book truly opens the dark worlds of life for all to reflect upon and enjoy."

"As a career-long deep-sea researcher, I often get lost in the technicality of the field and its fauna. It is through masterful works such as Life in the Dark that I can step back and take in the sheer beauty of the forms of life so ubiquitous, yet so unknown, on our planet. Danté Fenolio’s eye for pictorial composition is not just among the best there is, it is among the best that ever was, and I believe I have seen just about every deep-pelagic image that is publicly available. These ‘twilight’ and ‘midnight’ environments are incredibly complex, yet the descriptions in this work are concise and clear. The attention to detail should serve as a benchmark for future works of its kind. Life in the Dark is destined to be a classic."

"That infernal Danté has done it again. He has created a series of photographs so beautiful that it is impossible for us to imagine these creatures otherwise, but this time we also get to read his words. Knowing that you cannot care about things you’ve never seen, he uses his talents to present compelling images of animals that elude us because they do not live in the daylight as we do. And through this awareness, he hopes that you begin to care, and that through this caring you will act to conserve. It is a powerful argument, one I hope that you will heed."

"In these pages, Danté Fenolio gives a rare glimpse inside a hidden world of strange adaptation and the sometimes bizarre answers evolution comes up with to meet the demands of life in the dark. Most people tasked with documenting such diversity are themselves marvels of the natural world, and the lengths biologists go to in order to come into contact with these fantastic creatures is testimony both to their dedication and love for the organisms they seek in the furthest corners of the planet. It is these animals, and the explorers who have brought them to light, that this book celebrates."

"Life in the Dark is simultaneously delightful, amazing, and inspiring. Danté Fenolio’s stunning photography and crisp, authoritative text bring to life the intriguing and bizarre creatures that live in the darkest of places—in caves, underground, deep under the water, even inside other animals, including us. This book is an extraordinary gift—a connection to these magical creatures and an understanding that will foster a desire to conserve them."

"Life in the Dark is a fascinating and visually stunning glimpse into a kaleidoscopic array of weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit a world beyond the reach of light. Adaptations that enable life to inhabit these hidden, and surprisingly abundant, places are revealed, as are the limits of our knowledge about many species with which we share our planet. The highlight of the book has to be the hauntingly beautiful photographs, tack-sharp and masterfully lit, of otherworldly creatures from hatchetfish to Mexican mole lizards. These images fuel the imagination and remind us just how incredible and diverse life can be."

"This fascinating book will guide you on a journey through hidden realms: the abysmal depths of the oceans, the dank galleries of caves, and more. While we slept soundly through the night, the author was awake, scouring the planet to capture the secrets of the pitch-dark animal world. These secrets are revealed for the first time in this handsome, full-color volume."

"Life in the Dark, by Danté Fenolio, is a treat for the eye and mind. It introduces the reader to the astonishing life inhabiting the world’s dark side with the clarity only a gifted photographer with Danté’s lifetime of study can provide. The text does an excellent job of putting each dark environment and its accompanying suite of photos in perspective. What may impress the reader the most is the amount of planet Earth that is perpetually in darkness. Nature, this book teaches us, is at its best in the dark!"

"With stunningly beautiful photography of fascinating and rarely seen creatures, Danté Fenolio reveals the world’s dark places."

"... full of fabulous pictures of weird and wonderful creatures... [Life in the Dark is] loaded with information and carrys a strong conservation message."

"All in all, Life in the Dark succeeded splendidly in bringing the world of shadows into the light. It offers a wonderful glimpse into how evolution, following seemingly infinite possible roads, manages to fill the nooks and crannies of this planet with the most unexpected life forms. This book should be read by everyone interested in the nature of our wonderful and fragile world."

"I hope that the wealth of information in this unique book will be properly appreciated and enjoyed by a wide range of lovers of natural history."

"Fenolio writes that "This book is intended to get you thinking, not onlu about biodiversity of darkness, but also about the environment thaat supports all of us." The book certainly does that."

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