Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Don't Mess With Me: The Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures by Paul Erickson, photography by Andrew Martinez

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My thoughts:  Having grown up along the coast of North Carolina and having a love of the beach and ocean, I grew to have a healthy respect for stinging critters in the sea. I never appreciated sea grass and plants of various types wrapping itself around my legs in the surf. Then, of course, there were the tiny fish that was churned up in the waves, too.

But the biggest fear in those days were jelly fish and it seems that sometimes they were everywhere. You seriously avoided the water because you knew the sting was fearsome.

In Don't Mess With Me the author and photographer have captured the essence of a sea full of a variety of fish and critters that are poisonous or venomous. These creatures seem to be in abundance everywhere in the sea. So beware and don't mess with them.

I like that the author explains the difference between poisonous and venomous sea creatures. I also like that they point out that some are invasive species so you don't want them in your aquarium or released into the sea.

I recommend this non-fiction book for classroom libraries, school libraries, and public libraries everywhere.

About the book: Scorpions and brown recluse spiders are fine as far as they go, but if you want daily contact with venomous creatures, the ocean is the place to be. Blue-ringed octopi, stony corals, sea jellies, stonefish, lionfish, poison-fanged blennies, stingrays, cone snails, blind remipedes, fire urchins—you can choose your poison in the ocean. Venoms are often but not always defensive weapons. The banded sea krait, an aquatic snake, wriggles into undersea caves to prey on vicious moray eels, killing them with one of the world’s most deadly neurotoxins, which it injects through fangs that resemble hypodermic needles.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of Tilbury House Publishers and the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and freely given.

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