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Threads from the Web of Life & The Shark and the Jellyfish
Stories in Natural History

Author(s): Stephen Daubert

Ecology, like all literary narrative, has the potential for turnabout, surprise, lessons learned, and tragedy. The stories in Threads from the Web of Life and The Shark and the Jellyfish describe protagonists, their competitors, and the habitats that provide the setting for their interaction—habitats that have become surprisingly complex with the passage of evolutionary time.

One niche moves across a world of flowers that reaches its earliest peak bloom in the low valleys and then peaks later among the slopes of the foothills—a rolling habitat. Another hop-scotches across the ocean floor, compelling its occupants to migrate from the fallen body of one dead whale to the next. Yet another appears in the aftermath of typhoons, requiring its inhabitants to search the tropical coastline for the latest storm landfall.

These tales are filled with no less intrigue than other literary works, but they transpire out of the sight of most readers. Once known only to ecologists, in Threads from the Web of Life and The Shark and the Jellyfish, available for the first time in a single deluxe paperback, these stories become accessible to everyone with an interest in natural history.

Biography of Author(s)

Dr. Stephen Daubert is a naturalist writer, a scholar versed in the scientific method, and an observer familiar with places in the world where wild diversity still thrives. His scientific viewpoint shifts across perspectives—from the molecular level to the fossil record, all in the context of an evolving cosmos where planets are created and destroyed.


  • "Daubert's prose is beautifully written without sacrificing important biological details, so readers come away with awe and great respect for the natural world's wonders."
    The Sierra Club's The Green Life
  • "Each of these happenings is a thread in the intricate web of life, and Daubert . . . demonstrates that these threads are easily broken by humans. . . . Instructive and entertaining."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "Daubert's Threads from the Web of Life is written in the tradition of Aldo Leopold and Bernd Heinrich. It teaches by drawing you into the drama, excitement, and beauty of nature."
    Don Glass, host of the NPR-syndicated program A Moment of Science
  • "Highly recommended. . . . The stories are as much enjoyable as they are informative."
    Science Books & Films, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • "Threads from the Web of Life takes readers on a journey around the globe as the author describes unique and unusual ecological processes. It is ideal for casual reading as well as a source of selections to read aloud or to link literature with the study of natural history."
    NSTA Recommends, National Science Teachers Association