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  • Summary

  • Kids love the ocean - it’s mysterious and unknown, home to monsters of the imagination and some of the most fascinating life forms on the planet.

    But while many grown-ups might love being by or on the sea, how much do we actually know about the world beneath the waves?

    In this follow-up to A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs, evolutionary biologist, Professor Ben Garrod, takes the listener on an oceanic journey from the beginning of life on Earth to the present day, discovering what the ocean actually is and why it’s so important in the evolutionary history of life.

    A Listen Entertainment production for Audible Originals.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 6 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2020 Audible, Ltd. (P)2020 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Aug 10 2020

    A deceptively simple question....

    The series starts by answering a question: ‘What is the ocean?’

    We know it’s big, salty and wet but how did it get so big, why is it salty and why is it so important to life on earth? And what do we know about how these three things made the ocean the perfect place for the beginning of life itself? We meet the scientists studying the conditions in deep sea hydrothermal vents to find out where and how it all began.

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    33 mins
  • Aug 10 2020

    How did we get from single celled organisms to the incredibly diverse ocean ecosystem we have today?

    After two billion years of painfully slow evolutionary change what happened to scramble the system and allow the earth to get messy with life? The answer again lies in the ocean. Ben finds out how changing conditions in the ocean allowed animals to evolve from their single celled origins to the huge diversity we see today, and meets some of the first weird and wonderful animals to roam the ocean bottom in Evolutionary Explosions.

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    31 mins
  • Aug 10 2020

    During the Cambrian Explosion we find the first examples of every major animal group, including the line to which we belong - the vertebrates. In Rise of the Fishes Ben finds out more about our distant ancestors - the fish. Making up half of all living vertebrates, fish are the most successful backboned animals on the planet. And they are the group to which we owe the evolution of teeth, jaws, and even our limbs.

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    26 mins

What listeners say about A Grown-Up Guide to Oceans

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Nowhere near as good as the dinosaur one

The guy clearly has a wealth of knowledge but in the end it was an Attenboroughesque propaganda piece for the anthropogenic climate change natrative. It would have been good to dwell on the plastic issue where we do know it is anthropogenic and there is a political will from various countries to solve it.

If we cannot solve the ocean plastic matter then it is a waste of time even discussing the CO2 emissions issue. Please talk to us about what can be done to clean up the plastics, and don't get distracted into the mindless carbon narrative.

I am not happy that little detail was given to issues like the El Nino and the currents and how the temperatures work and how much the moon affects tides. Nobody cares about Myllothingy, it is just one phase the Chinese happen to have found, among a thousand possible, with no real bearing on the actual life today.

Why are some groups of teleosts almost exclusively riverine and have only a few marine species? With 3,500 representatives, the Siluriformes make up one in seven of vertebrates and yet there are many mysteries and unanswered questions around them. They include the only parasite on man, and two of the few species that can electrocute us to death. There are those we can eat and some so large that they could devour a child.

So please let's have a grown up guide to catfishes next time, and less about PC stuff and trying to get into the formulaic BBC mould. I know you are much cleverer than that.

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Brilliant

I have learnt so much from this plain language guide as I did from the grown up guide to dinosaurs. The experts were great and Ben is natural.

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good but...

Really enjoyed most of the material but it's called 'a GROWN-UP guide to oceans' so why does the presenter dumb down the interesting parts and talk like he's talking to a child?

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  • JJ
  • 17-08-20

More please

Another fantastic grown up guide series! it will leave you wanting to find out more.

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Enjoyable and educational

Excellent series - listened to it all in one sitting. Easy to understand for a lay-person without being patronising.

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Good series

I really enjoyed this and it explained things in a thought provoking, energetic and non preachy way

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Engaging and thought provoking

I have gobbled up this series and the linked guides to dinosaurs and the Earth. It is really helping me reconnect with my childhood fascination with the natural world.

My one criticism is in episode 5, there is an uncritical discussion of the original Stanford marshmallow test. Whilst I am convinced the test in cuttlefish demonstrates some interesting points, the human version has been critiqued in recent years.

It turns out that lifestyle factors and not intelligence predict behaviour in the marshmallow test. Rich kids have been trained to delay gratification for greater reward. However, poor kids are often 1) physically hungry or 2) used to adults in their lives being unable to keep promises. They assess the situation and choose the reward in front of them ahead of a hypothetical reward they cannot trust. Tragically, child poverty maps onto lower academic achievement - the behavioural differences are an artefact of harsher life experiences, and not innate intelligence.

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Great intro to the oceans

After listening I have realised how little I knew, especially about cleaner fish. We all need to take this seriously

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Great audio book

a wonderful book for everyone interested in the ins and outs of our oceans. the narrator does a great job describing concepts and delivering knowledge, always keeping it light and easy to understand.

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Educational and fun to listen to.

A well put together logical sequence of events. Some very surprising details that I guarantee you will not have heard about. Fun delivery by the narrator. This stops the topic becoming to heavy. Overall I enjoyed it and now know much more about the ocean.

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  • Montzalee Wittmann
  • 17-10-20

Informative and interesting!

A Grown-up Guide to Oceans Audible Original
by Professor Ben Garrod
This covers lots of basics of the oceans in six easy pieces! Six interesting sections about 30 minutes long started about how life started in the ocean and how climate change and pollution in the ocean in the last lesson. Most adults know these things but it is great to hear it spelled out in an easy, interesting way.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mani S.
  • 10-09-20

One of the best on Audible podcasts

I am curious about science and try to keep myself informed about big ideas as a lay person. This really enriched my understanding by adding some current and recent research and findings to established knowledge. I love this show and I hope Prof Ben Garrod will continue with the series. What's next? Hopefully something like the deserts or mountains?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-21

Great, albeit with a slightly misleading title.

Well, no, the title isn't THAT misleading. More like the concept as a whole. You read the title 'A Grown-Up Guide to Oceans', you see the cover filled with all manner of aquatic life and you think you're going to hear all about sharks, whales, jellyfish, coral reefs, the abyss, and all the rest of it. What you actually get is more of a grown-up guide to the origins of life on the planet, which just happened to start and develop in the oceans and thus it's considered a guide to the oceans.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not disappointed as I thought it was brilliantly done - reel upon reel of fascinating information delivered in simple words and an easy-to-listen-to fashion. It just wasn't exactly the fascinating information I expected to be listening to based on the cover and title of the podcast.

So all in all, if you want to hear about the origins of life in the oceans, some of the research that has gone into animal intelligence in sea creatures, and conservation efforts relating to preserving the oceans with regards to plastic and global warming, then go for it! It's brilliant!

But if you want to learn solely about the oceans and its life as they currently are, you won't find much of that here.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Isabel Amarantino
  • 18-10-20

To dream of fishes and waterworlds

I think it’s well-edited and because of that it’s very easy to follow. It has wonderfull ideas that were new to me! However, there are some visual concepts I can’t grasp only with descriptions (the animals I don’t know look so alien I can’t imagine them without an internet search and I don’t know how to spell the names to do it so...I lost those parts...) and that’s why I don’t give it a 5star review. But someone with a good imagination to picture strange fishes won’t have any problems I’m sure :)

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  • Christopher James Kammer
  • 14-09-20

Awesome & Informative

Great professor, who provides useful, actionable knowledge that reminds you of the importance of our oceans to life on Earth & our future.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DnTA
  • 05-06-21

excellent introductory information

the narrator had a pleasant voice. the guest speakers clearly were knowledgeable in their fields. excellent introductory information regarding why the oceans need human intervention to change the waste we contribute. after the upbeat tone of the previous episodes, I would have liked to hear less about why humans are the problem and more about what humans can do (what not to buy or what to buy instead for example) to fix what we've done to the oceans. definitely worth a listen. especially useful is the details of how the ocean was during different time periods before the industrial era as a counterpoint to current state of the oceans

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-21

An awesome listen

It was easy to follow along the scientific lingo as things are well explained. Garrod manages to keep you focused and curious throughout the chapters. Also super relevant. All people should give a listen to the last chapter!

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  • Red-Haired Ash
  • 08-03-21

A general overview of the evolution of the ocean

4 stars - It was really good

Professor Ben Garrod returns to discuss the evolution of the ocean and how it leads to life. With six episodes, Garrod takes you through an oceanic journey from the beginning of life to present day.

This was a good follow up to A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs considering dinosaurs started in the water. I enjoyed this dive into the history and science of evolution. It was slightly technical at parts but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of learning about the ocean's evolution.

One of my favorite parts of Garrod’s audiobooks is that he interviews various marine scientists with each chapter and you can hear their passion and enthusiasm for the topic. They really help bring this history to life, as well as what the future might bring. I found the part about the cuttlefish experiment very interesting and love that we are learning about current experiments being done to marine life.

Overall, this was a great audiobook and a great general overview of the evolutionary process of the ocean.

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  • IowaGreyhound
  • 14-02-21

Great evolutionary look at our oceans

He covered the evolution of life in the sea and beyond and topped it off with the future of the oceans due to mankind's influence. I had hoped for a look at different life forms currently in the oceans. Some were discussed along the way, but perhaps another podcast could cover the different fishes and other animals and plants living in the oceans today. Interesting and enjoyable podcast as is.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-21

Grown Up Guide

I really enjoyed this story. I read the grown up guide to dinosaurs and it was great so when I saw this I knew I had to read it. Professor Ben Garrod is great and everyone he interviewed explained their topic of expertise extremely well. Can't wait to see if there will be another grown-up guide.