Exploring the 4 largest reef systems on Earth
Coral Reefs and Other Colorful Creatures is an octagonal book with interactive folding pages that open radially. It has four stacked layers and each layer is made of four pages. One page from each layer focuses on the marine ecosystems of one of the world's largest coral reef systems:
Together, these four reef areas contain a staggering array of biodiversity that is showcased on the book's first three layers, and as the reader delves into the fourth layer, they can discover more denizens of the deep that live far down in the surrounding oceans.
Interactive folding structures help people engage with scientific information
This video shows the interactive layers of Coral Reefs and Other Colorful Creatures opening and closing. Today's fast-paced society is full of shrinking attention spans, and it takes something truly unique and eye-catching to hold peoples' interest. Our goal is to capture the reader's attention through the innovative structure of the book, and reward them with beautiful depictions and information about some of the most amazing environments on the face of the planet: coral reefs.
The tactile nature of the book makes it an excellent tool for engaging people with information they might struggle to absorb from a traditional book, website, or other source of information. Hands-on learning is not just for kids either - everyone needs to know more about these vitally important ecosystems and how human activity is affecting them, from excessive tourism and overfishing to plastic pollution and climate change.
Education is the first step to making people care about the consequences of their lifestyle, and engaging them with that information in a fun and interactive way can make a big difference.
Over 100 species beautifully illustrated in their natural habitats
Biodiversity is key to the success of coral reefs, and while we cannot come close to fitting in all of the thousands of species that dwell in our oceans, Coral Reefs and Other Colorful Creatures showcases well over 100 different species lovingly illustrated in one or more of the reef regions that they call home. This includes 39 species of ray-finned fishes, 27 species of soft and hard corals, all 7 of the world's endangered sea turtles, and a wide array of other sponges, anemones, seaweeds, sharks, rays, echinoderms, cephalopods, gastropods, polychaetes, crustaceans, cnidarians, and marine mammals.
While the folding pages of the book are all full of scenic illustrations of these colorful creatures, each species is numbered and can be referenced in the accompanying Explorer's Guide, where the reader can discover their common and scientific names and interesting facts about them.
Bringing the plight of coral reefs to the people
For every ravishing reef-scape in Coral Reefs and Other Colorful Creatures, there is an equally eerie effigy of what the marine environment could look like if humans continue unchecked destructive behavior that is destroying reefs. By simply flipping each page over and looking at the back, the reader will see the same coral structures that grace the front, but now they are bleached white, with once-crystalline waters that are murky and polluted, and the plethora of fish and other marine life has disappeared to be replaced with a giant floating mass of plastic and garbage.
Coral bleaching is a phenomenon caused by warming ocean temperatures and other environmental changes, such as fishing and pollution. When corals experience changes to their environment, they become stressed, releasing algae living in their tissue, causing them to turn pale or white and making them more susceptible to disease. As Coral Reefs provide habitats for more than a quarter of all marine life, the fish and other organisms that rely on the reef also become threatened.
This stark contrast drives home the fact that the destruction of coral reef environments is our own fault, and it is only through taking action that we can start amending it. In the back of their Explorer's Guide, the reader will find a call to action: tips on lifestyle choices they can make to reduce their impact, as well as ways to support environmental organizations who are out there doing the heavy-lifting conservation work necessary to stop those haunting images from becoming the future reality of our oceans.