Professor Alistair Hardy is truly obsessed by animals of the sea – devotedly enthusiastic about the nature of their adaptations and life histories, brilliantly critical in the examination of their mysteries, acutely lucid (and at the same time highly artistic) in his descriptions of them in his arresting plates.
To describe the relatively unknown and mysterious world of plankton is a task that the greatest of marine zoologists might boggle at. Yet the plankton is to the sea what vegetation is to the land. The study of plankton is a complex discipline which few amateur naturalists have had the privilege to enjoy. Never before has such a synthesis of knowledge been attempted in a community of animals so mysterious, yet so important. Professor Hardy has grasped this problem in a new and exciting way; and at least the common reader can discern the pattern of life that dominates two-thirds of the world’s surface.