Rand McNally & Company (1976). Index. 128pp. 9 x 11.75 inches. Hardcover. ISBN 0-528-81851-1. Illustrated in color.
This unique book reveals aspects of aquatic life, both marine and freshwater, that have seldom, if ever, been seen or photographed before. With the aid of nearly 300 magnificent color photographs Peter Parks and Oxford Scientific Films take us on a journey of exploration from inside a drop of water to the deepest depths of the ocean, and introduce us to the amazing creatures that live in and under the water.
Throughout the book we are witness to many of the fascinating situations the team came across while filming and the text has a refreshing personal quality which recreates the excitement of scientific discovery. The author clearly explains scientific facts and phenomena with complete authority and without resorting to technical vocabulary.
Many of the species may be microscopic, but they are still capable of the most sophisticated behavior. From rivers and ponds to the seashore and the surface waters of the world's oceans we discover life forms which demonstrate a wealth of extraordinary adaptive evolution and refinement. We are taken to the ocean deeps — the least known and least explored of all earth's habitats. Finally, from a realm much more familiar to us, namely the sea's surface waters, microscopic jewel-like creatures of a variety of exquisite shapes and colrs which are capable of amazing constructional feats are portrayed in a way never before attempted.
Only a team with the technical and academic talents of Oxford Scientific Films could have produced a work of this kind — visually beautiful, scientifically acurate and delightfully readable.
Oxford Scientific Films is a unique company specializing in the production of spectacular wildlife films. The company has been described by the London Times as ‘the most technically advanced biological film unit in the world.’
The members of the Oxford Scientific Films, originally professional zoologists at the University of Oxford in England, maintain close links with the academic world. By combining their scientific expertise with a talent for engineering and an imaginative flair for communication, they have created a company that is unrivaled in its ability to produce distinctively dramatic films of the natural world.
Peter Parks, the author of this book, completed his zoology degree at Oxford and after a period working as a biological illustrator he started to make wildlife films. During the ten years of his work with OSF he has designed and built much of the specialist equipment which has given the company its superior filming facilities. In particular, he has designed and built specialized photographic optical benches which enable microscopic organisms to be filmed in ways which were previously impossible.
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