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The San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park
Ecological Reserve

by Judith Garfield

The sarcastic fringehead is not a member of a rock group; it's a local fish with a sour disposition, just one of the unique marine animals to be encountered in the San Diego­La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. But you don't need to don scuba gear to experience the reserve; you can see it through two books by the same name. Volume two, on La Jolla Shores and Canyon, just came out (a companion to volume one on La Jolla Cove) and covers a variety of diverse local marine life from striped sea slugs to octopuses to leopard sharks. Striking color photography reveals the beauty and complexity of plants and animals, and user-friendly write-ups include such facts as this: a bat ray can have a wingspan of six feet and exert 150 pounds of pressure with its jaw, "which makes crushing a clam shell as challenging as chewing Jell-O." Local naturalist Judith Garfield is the creator of these field guides to San Diego's underwater world.

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