University of Cambridge: Beasts from the Deep

University of Cambridge: Beasts from the Deep

By Author / Illustrator

Matt Ralphs, illus Kaley McKean



Age range(s)



Nosy Crow








Dive down if you dare and discover the world's strangest, scariest and most magnificent sea creatures in this breathtaking gift book from the University of Cambridge and Nosy Crow!

Did you know there is a place on Earth that's hardly been explored at all? A place with near-freezing temperatures, crushing water pressure and total darkness...?  

Discover a magnificent menagerie of monsters that lurk deep down in our oceans - from sharks that can live for 500 years, to fish with teeth so long they can't close their mouths.  Find out about anglerfish, giant squid, goblin sharks, coffinfish, barreleyes and many, many more amazing creatures in this stunningly illustrated gift book that will delight, surprise and inspire on every page.

With awe-inspiring artwork from Kaley McKean and atmospheric, engaging text by Matt Ralphs, created in consultation with marine biologist Dr Helen Scales alongside Dr Roz Wade from the Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge.  The perfect gift for any child aged 7+ with an interest in marine biology and zoology.



Beautifully presented, Beasts from the Deep offers a fascinating and absorbing look at the mysterious creatures which inhabit the depths of the ocean. The introduction carefully explains that there is much that is unknown about the deep sea, 'a vast environment that, despite near-freezing temperatures, crushing water pressure and total darkness' is home to many creatures which have adapted to live there.

From here, the author goes on to explain the ocean's layers from the Sunlight Zone through the Twilight, Midnight and Abyssal Zones down to the Hadal Zone. The illustration here is quite something with the sparsely populated, inky-black Hadal Zone still managing to hint at the mysteries it might hold!

Starting with the Twilight Zone, the book then explores each layer in more detail, looking at some of the creatures which live there and how they have adapted to survive in their environment, making it a fascinating text to support the Y6 work on evolution and inheritance in science. The fangtooth, for example, which inhabits the Midnight Zone, has evolved to have a large mouth lined with really long teeth whilst Atolla jellyfish are perfectly adapted to live at this level.

On each page, the text is presented in small chunks, offering plenty of information, using subject specific vocabulary (a comprehensive glossary is included at the end of the book), encouraging the reader to develop their understanding of this fascinating environment and the 'beasts' which live there. I learned so much from reading this!

96 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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