In Spineless, acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, which represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean. They are also astonishingly diverse in their shapes, patterns, textures, and colors – in nature's fashion show, they are the haute couture of marine life.
This collection of more than 200 remarkable images is the result of seven years of painstaking fieldwork across the Pacific Ocean, using photographic techniques that Middleton developed to capture these extremely fragile creatures on camera. She also provides short essays that examine the place these invertebrates occupy on the tree of life, their vast array of forms, and their lives in the ocean. Scientist Bernadette Holthuis contributes profiles describing each species, many of them for the first time. Middleton's book is a stunning new view of nature that harmoniously combines art and science.
Susan Middleton is a photographer, author and lecturer specialising in portraiture of rare and endangered animals, plants, sites and cultures. She was Chair of the Department of Photography at the California Academy of Sciences for 13 years, where she currently serves as Research associate. Her books include Evidence of Evolution, Archipelago, Remains of a Rainbow, Witness and Here Today and her photographs have been shown and published throughout the world.