Swordfish: A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator

Swordfish: A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator

Richard Ellis / Mar 31, 2020

Swordfish A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator A perfect fish in the evolutionary sense the broadbill swordfish derives its name from its distinctive bill much longer and wider than the bill of any other billfish which is flattened into the sword

  • Title: Swordfish: A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator
  • Author: Richard Ellis
  • ISBN: 9780226922904
  • Page: 304
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A perfect fish in the evolutionary sense, the broadbill swordfish derives its name from its distinctive bill much longer and wider than the bill of any other billfish which is flattened into the sword we all recognize And though the majesty and allure of this warrior fish has commanded much attention from adventurous sportfishers eager to land one to ravenous diners eagerA perfect fish in the evolutionary sense, the broadbill swordfish derives its name from its distinctive bill much longer and wider than the bill of any other billfish which is flattened into the sword we all recognize And though the majesty and allure of this warrior fish has commanded much attention from adventurous sportfishers eager to land one to ravenous diners eager to taste one no one has yet been bold enough to truly take on the swordfish as a biographer Who better to do so than Richard Ellis, a master of marine natural history Swordfish A Biography of the Ocean Gladiator is his masterly ode to this mighty fighter.The swordfish, whose scientific name means gladiator, can take on anyone and anything, including ships, boats, sharks, submarines, divers, and whales, and in this book Ellis regales us with tales of its vitality and strength Ellis makes it easy to understand why it has inspired so many to take up the challenge of epic sportfishing battles as well as the longline fishing expeditions recounted by writers such as Linda Greenlaw and Sebastian Junger Ellis shows us how the bill is used for defense contrary to popular opinion it is not used to spear prey, but to slash and debilitate, like a skillful saber fencer Swordfish, he explains, hunt at the surface as well as thousands of feet down in the depths, and like tuna and some sharks, have an unusual circulatory system that gives them a significant advantage over their prey, no matter the depth in which they hunt Their adaptability enables them to swim in waters the world over tropical, temperate, and sometimes cold and the largest ever caught on rod and reel was landed in Chile in 1953, weighing in at 1,182 pounds and this heavyweight fighter, like all the largest swordfish, was a female.Ellis s detailed and fascinating, fact filled biography takes us behind the swordfish s huge, cornflower blue eyes and provides a complete history of the fish from prehistoric fossils to its present day endangerment, as our taste for swordfish has had a drastic effect on their population the world over Throughout, the book is graced with many of Ellis s own drawings and paintings, which capture the allure of the fish and bring its splendor and power to life for armchair fishermen and landlocked readers alike.

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    About "Richard Ellis"

      • Richard Ellis

        Richard Ellis is a celebrated authority on marine biology and America s foremost marine life artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide His nine books include The Search for the Giant Squid a Publishers Weekly 1998 Best Book of the Year , Great White Shark, Encyclopedia of the Sea, Men and Whales, Monsters of the Sea, Deep Atlantic The Book of Whales, and Imagining Atlantis.


    759 Comments

    1. Things I've learned: swordfish can warm their brains. They have no teeth as adults, but do as juveniles. They're rather stabby. They are riddled with worms and parasites. They may be subject to hormonal rages. They like to bask in the sun. Probably more than I really ever needed to know about swordfish, but do you really need a reason for learning about a creature that has a built-in brain warmer? I think not.


    2. Richard Ellis writes his natural history biographies as a series of facts with little narrative, and many people may find this annoying. I've always enjoyed this approach. Ellis packs in more facts per page in his books than would be allowable by the personal narrative form could.The only chapter in Swordfish that contains a personal narrative, Chapter 10 "Benchley and Ellis: Swordfishermen," is the shortest chapter in the book, and despite the all-star cast (Peter Benchley, shark fisherman Fran [...]


    3. If someone were really interested in swordfish and wanted to read a book about them, then this would be the book for this person - I do not fit that category. I learned far more about swordfish than . To be fair, the ecological parts were pretty interesting. I learned about long-line fishing and the Permian Extinction and other things I knew nothing about, but mostly the book just brought back not-so-pleasant memories of being dragged aboard deep-sea fishing boats in Florida by my grandfather, a [...]


    4. The research that is presented of the swordfish are indeed extremely interesting however much is still unknown and at some points pure speculations. Even though swordfishes are supposed to be the main point of this book, there is a huge part of it that covers all other types of billfish, prehistoric aquatic life, and the adverse effect of overfishing and global warming that we are the cause of, that, albeit interesting, definitely seemed to be presented as to add more pages. I suppose though tha [...]


    5. Lots of typos to spice up the long paraphrased excerpts of fishing stories, scientific inquiries and slack jawed affection towards an enigma the author has not solved, only gathered the pieces of and strung one after the next in a long line of hyperbole and contradiction.Example: After citing so many sources on the Swordfish's adaptation to and need for deep cold water, Ellis states: " living species seems threatened by the warming of the world's oceans." (Page 236).



    6. Very good book on the history and biology of billfishes, mainly swordfish and marlins. Another great book by Richard Ellis- always a go-to author for me.


    7. UofC free e-book mini read. repetitive, yet pertinent. warning of warming and overuse by human greed and need. needed an editor and a proofreader.


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