Reef Life

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Natural History and Behaviors of Marine Fishes and Invertebrates
Reef life cover.jpg

Reef life cover.jpg


Pages: 224

List price: $39.95

Publisher: T.F.H. Publications, Inc.

Series: Microcosm/TFH Professional Series

Year published: 2002

ISBN: 1890087556

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Profusely illustrated with world-class color photographs of coral reefs and all their myriad inhabitants, Reef Life introduces the reader to nature's richest realm.

Filled with solid marine biology made readable, this volume offers:

  • Fantastic Life Forms: rare and unusual reef animals captured on film in their natural haunts.
  • Face-to-Face Encounters: intimate observations from over a decade of underwater research.
  • Biology in Action: fundamental lessons in feeding, reproduction and survival tactics of reef fishes and invertebrates.
  • Profiles in Biodiversity: the fishes, invertebrates and other animals of the coral realm.



The Tacketts have achieved something remarkable with this book. Not only is the quality of the photographs consistently high, but the detailed information within the text is logical and accessible to any diver whether they be experts in marine biology or simply curious fish watchers.

This American husband and wife team seem to have lived many divers dream existence. Travelling the Indo Pacific for 13 years, they would camp on a beach with their own compressor and make three dives a day collecting sponge specimens for medical research.

The scientific information is clear and broken down into digestible chunks, enlivened by well annotated pictures - everything from mantis shrimps eating coral shrimps, to frogfish camouflaged against cup corals. Predation, reproduction, camouflage, feeding and mimicry are all wonderfully explained. And, in keeping with the mood of the times there is a final section on reefs in danger - overfishing, cyanide, pollution etc, complete with appropriate photos including a poignant shot of an octopus trying to cover itself with a piece of broken plastic audio-cassette.

A substantial glossary at the end of the book covers everything from allelopathy to zooxanthellae.

The strength and value of this book is that it is not just a collection of good underwater images, I suspect it will become an invaluable primer for any diver who wants to look at reefs in an intelligent way.

—Timothy Ecott, Amazon Reviews

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