Big Pacific by Rebecca Tansley

Big Pacific has been created as a companion book to the TV series of the same name, created by National History NZ . It will be screened on Prime TV early 2018.

The Pacific Ocean is big indeed, covering one third of the Earth’s total surface and accounting for nearly half of the planet’s water surface. Total water volume is estimated at more than 700 million cubic kilometres, and at its deepest point it is nearly 11 km down.

Named by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, the book explores the Pacific Ocean’s very un-peaceful nature. It is divided (like the tv series) into 4 sections, all of which explore different aspects of the Pacific Ocean.

The first section, Passionate Pacific, considers the way in which the creatures that inhabit it have developed unusual behaviours – mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates. From Great White Sharks, to Palolo Worms, their habitat and behaviours are explored. There is also an interesting look at coral reefs and how restoration projects are being carried out to protect and conserve them.

Voracious Pacific looks at the way the inhabitants of the ocean feed off each other. From the biggest to the smallest – from whales to predatory plants, food drives all life.

The third section of the book, Mysterious Pacific points out that there are still many mysteries that need to be unravelled. We still don’t know what drives some creatures to behave the way they do – like the annual arrival in Costa Rica of the female Olive ridley turtle, returning to her birthplace to lay her eggs.

The final section, Violent Pacific addresses both natural (volcanoes and typhoons) and man-made disturbances (plastic rubbish and nuclear testing sites).

The book also sheds light on the production of the series itself – how the footage was captured, including some interesting encounters the crew had along the way.

Illustrated throughout with stunning full colour images from the TV series, Big Pacific would appeal to all age groups and reading abilities and would be a great addition to any family library. It’s the sort of ‘coffee table’ book that would get well read. A great book for Christmas.

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Rachel White Rachel White’s mother was a writer and she also worked in publishing, so there were always books around Rachel growing up. Rachel eventually ended up working in publishing too, amongst other careers, so her mother’s influence has carried on. Rachel’s love of food, gardening, travel and cats mean her interests are fairly wide. She also enjoys contemporary and historical fiction and anything that expands the mind. She thinks many of the world’s problems could be solved if people read more.

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