One need not read too far back into the history of natural history to encounter the idea of spontaneous generation – the idea that life could be created directly out of rotting material. It was a widely held, even thoroughly tested, theory that stood the test of a far longer period of time than many of our present scientific ideas have existed.
If there was ever a more appropriate time than the beginning of The Wildlife Society’s annual conference to publish news of the recently published “Becoming a Wildlife Professional” from Johns Hopkins University Press, I cannot think of what it might possibly be.
As Johns Hopkins University Press so well and succinctly points out in the description of the their new “Sharks of the Shallows,” “few places on Earth are home to the amazing diversity of shark species that beautify the shallow waters of Florida and the Bahamas.” Consequently, its author Jeffrey C. Carrier no doubt decided that this was the region on which to focus as a new book about the lives and behaviors of some of the planet’s most often mentioned sharks.
Having been raised on the Oregon coast, I’ve seen a good number of whales over the years; however each and every one has been of the species which tend to venture into viewing distance from the shore; Gray Whales being far and away the most frequent of my sightings. Of the beaked whales, those little-known species only found in deep waters and remote locations, despite having gone to sea in ships, I have seen nary a one.