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A displaying male Blue flasher wrasse, West Papua, Indonesia (Photo: Richard Smith)
Get ready to meet some of the world’s most fascinating sea creatures. Marine biologist and underwater photographer Richard Smith provides a colorful introduction to the teeming life in the depths of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. The colors are breathtaking, from the Cenderawasih fairy wrasse, with its florescent yellow streak, to the polka-dot longnose filefish and the multicolored sea dragon. There are scarlet corals, baby-blue sponges, daffodil crinoids, and life forms able to change color at the flip of a tail. Size is another remarkable variable: Watch for a gigantic whale shark as well as a pygmy seahorse almost too tiny to observe unless enlarged in a photo.
Smith shows them indulging in the arts of seduction and deception. He describes how they eat, play, and care for one another and how some species are experts in using camouflage for self-protection. He also highlights newly found species, those facing extinction, and what we can do to help save them before it’s too late.
Smith’s book The World Beneath: The Life and Times of Unknown Sea Creatures and Coral Reefs (Apollo) is available for sale and signing.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)