Squid Empire

Squid Empire

The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Before there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs. And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods--the ancestors of modern squid and Earth's first truly substantial animals. Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming. With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an undersea empire for millions of years. But when fish evolved jaws, the ocean's former top predator became its most delicious snack. Cephalopods had to step up their game. Many species streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, but these enhancements only provided a brief advantage. Some cephalopods then abandoned the shell entirely, which opened the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations: masterful camouflage, fin-supplemented jet propulsion, perhaps even dolphin-like intelligence. Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years, from the marine life of the primordial ocean to the calamari on tonight's menu. Anyone who enjoys the undersea world--along with all those obsessed with things prehistoric--will be interested in the sometimes enormous, often bizarre creatures that ruled the seas long before the first dinosaurs.
Publisher: Lebanon NH : ForeEdge, an imprint of University Press of New England, [2017]
ISBN: 9781611689235
Branch Call Number: 594.5 S77s
Characteristics: xiii, 237 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 12, 2018

The writing can be a little breezy but it carries a lot of information about animals I had never thought seriously about.

Dec 21, 2017

Why don't cephalopods get more recognition? Is it due to their lack of backbone that we underappreciate this curious class of marine animals, or their distinct uncuddliness? From their origins in the Cambrian and subsequent evolutionary paths, to extinctions and proliferation in the present-day, cephalopods and their curious history are the focus of Danna Staaf's new book. You need not be a marine biologist or paleontologist to enjoy all of the excellent information presented within, merely have an interest in the past and a sense of wonder. Other than a cringe-worthy reference to pterosaurs as "flying dinosaurs" (not dinosaurs at all), this was a satisfying microhistory of nautilus, squid, octopus and their ancient brethren.

I received this ARC via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top