Johns Hopkins University Press (1984). Index. 229pp. 7.3 x 8.5 inches. Paperback. ISBN 0-8018-3013-3. Illustrations by Alice Jane Lippson.
More than two thousand different marine animals and plants have been identified in and around the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Some of these are so rare that they have been recorded only once, others so mall that they cannot be detected by the naked eye. But hundreds of species can be seen by an observer walking along the water's edge, gazing down from a jetty or pier, searching through a bushel of oysters, reeling in a fishing line, or hauling a crab trap.
Life in the Chesapeake Bay is a superbly illustrated and clearly written field guide to more than one hundred kinds of fishes and more than two hundred species of crabs, clams, jellyfishes, sponges, and other invertebrates commonly found in the Chesapeake Bay and coastal inlets from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod. Alice Jane Lippson's beautifully detailed line drawings are combined with succinct, well-written descriptions that enable the reader to identify each species easily and to recognize, as well, more than thirty-five of the most frequently encountered seaweeds and aquatic plants of the region.
In Life in the Chesapeake Bay, the Lippsons describe the richly varied habitats found in the bays and inlets along the mid-Atlantic coast. From the sandy beaches and intertidal flats, to the seagrass meadows, oyster bars, and deep ocean waters, they show in fascinating detail how each particular habitat makes up a distinctive biotic community. They provide informative accounts of the life cycles of species, their methods of feeding, their interactions with other organisms, and their geographical distribution within the estuary.
While most other field guides progress from the simplest forms of life to the most complex, Life in the Chesapeake Bay emphasizes the ecology of the Bay rather than evolutionary relationships between species. Readers thus find conveniently grouped together descriptions of all the animals and plants likely to be seen in one spot, making this a uniquely useable guide.
Written for the year-round resident or the summer visitor, for scientist, student, or amateur, for hunter, fisherman, or conservationist, Life in the Chesapeake Bay is a book to be read, used, and prized by anyone with an interest in the estuarine waters of the mid-Atlantic.
Alice Jane Lippson is a biological illustrator and researcher in estuarine ecology. Her books include the best-selling The Chesapeake Bay in Maryland: An Atlas of Natural Resources and the Environmental Atlas of the Potomac Estuary (both available from Johns Hopkins).
Robert L. Lippson is a marine scientist with the National Marine Fisheries Service and an adjunct professor of invertebrate zoology at Michigan State University. The Lippsons live and work on the shores of the Chesapeake.
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