A new book by a Bridport author takes readers on a wild, fantastic journey to the bottom of the sea.

Award-winning nature and science writer Erich Hoyt gives readers a glimpse of the amazing variety of creatures found in the deepest parts of the ocean.

Weaving together details from the latest scientific research about sharks, giant squid, dragonfish, huge tube worms, clams and tiny microbes of the deep-sea vents, the author embarks on a magical journey roaming across the abyssal plains and descending into deep-sea trenches more than 20,000 feet down below the surface of the sea.

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The publication, Creatures of the Deep, is an updated third edition and is fully illustrated with fantastic underwater imagery, including recently discovered and still unnamed species.

The first edition won the Outstanding Nonfiction Book of the Year Award from the American Society of Journalists & Authors.

In the past two decades, a new era of ocean discovery has witnessed the first filming of the giant squid and submarine expeditions to the deepest underwater trenches on Earth. As a result of this growing momentum, five new species are being named every day, more than 2,000 per year. At the same time the ocean is in trouble: overfishing, industrial development and climate change are forcing many species to move, adapt or go extinct.

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Creatures of the Deep details how the smallest organisms support the largest marine predators; to count every animal in the sea; and to traverse the planet’s greatest mountain range, the midocean ridge. Readers discover everything from 500-year-old clams to the exotically beautiful yet relentless and deadly jellyfish, from killer whales and sharks fighting to the death to rare encounters with giant and colossal squid.

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Mr Hoyt, above, has spent most of his life on or near the sea, working with whales and dolphins to learn about their daily lives and to protect their habitat. He has written books on marine wildlife, ants, insects, protected areas and other natural history subjects.

Currently a Research Fellow with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), he leads the WDC Healthy Seas Programme. He also co-directs the Far East Russia Orca Project in Kamchatka. Mr Hoyt is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group and co-chairs the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force.

Mr Hoyt lives in Bridport with his wife Sarah Wedden, a biomedical research scientist, and their children Moses, Maddie, Jasmine and Max.

Creatures of the Deep, third revised expanded edition, published by Firefly Books is out now priced £19.95. ISBN: 0228103290

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