432 pages, colour photos
Language: Bilingual in English and Spanish
This unique bilingual guide identifies over 800 species of marine invertebrates. This extensive cultural and natural history book features comprehensive text and full-colour illustrations. Readers will learn about the natural history of the regional species, indigenous uses of marine invertebrates, and ideas for biological conservation.
"The invertebrate species diversity of the Sea of Cortez is amongst the highest in the world, and it is relatively well studied. With this unique bilingual publication, all visitors from enthusiastic amateurs to professionals will be quickly able to identify some 800 species of fascinating animals. This book become a treasured companion as it makes the reader familiar with these strange animals, they will become our friends, and as we learn their natural history, we will identify with them and their unique ecosystem and become vested in its conservation so it can continue to inspire our grandchildren."
– Paul Dayton, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
"For those of us fascinated by the natural history of the Gulf of California, Kerstitch and Bertsch's classic Sea of Cortez Marine Invertebrates has been an unfailing companion since 1989. Sadly, Alex Kerstitch is now gone, but Hans Bertsch's love for this place is as alive and as passionate as it was three decades ago. With the collaboration of Luis Aguilar, they have revised the field guide to include species from both coasts of the Peninsula, increasing it from 300 to over 800 species. The book shows the commitment of the authors for this extraordinary part of Mexico. It describes the natural history of regional species, but also delves into the indigenous uses of marine invertebrates and brings strong ideas for biological conservation in these rapidly changing, and growingly threatened desert coasts. Both scientifically rigorous and intellectually fascinating, the book also brings a strong message: We need to preserve this extraordinary richness, one of the last mainstays of Mexico's unique biodiversity."
– Ezequiel Ezcurra, Director of UC MEXUS / University of California, Riverside
"[...] Knowing previous productions by the authors, I knew what to expect in terms of choice of subjects and accuracy in their reporting. However, an aspect in particular stood out during my initial examination of the book, one that expands the scope of the work into a different realm, beyond that of a traditional identification guide. The authors’ unique arrangement includes precious cultural information within the treatment of many species, and in particular of mollusks. This is not at the expense of accurate and relevant taxonomic information. The biological and identification value of the book is augmented by addition of data on traditional customs of local people, including uses of some species as food, their spiritual importance, medicinal and pharmaceutical values, and others. [...] Did the authors aim to provide a complete guide of regional marine invertebrates for northwestern Mexico? They didn’t, but this doesn’t detract from the usefulness of their production. [...] This production by Bertsch and Aguilar Rosas is symbolic of a much-desired type of cooperation between the two great North American nations. No dividing wall separates the complementary interests and important contributions from these two authors. On the contrary, there is a clear synergistic component in their work. Beyond its efficacy as an invertebrate field guide, Bertsch and Aguilar Rosas’s stimulating volume transcends its regional-guide aspect to become a very readable narrative of the taxonomy, natural history, ecology, and cultural aspects of the species it covers."
– José H. Leal, The Nautilus 130(4):168–169, 2016
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