Ancient sea monsters. Epic underwater battles. Stunning fossil discoveries.

Combining the fascinations of undersea life and paleontology, Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years—from the primordial seas to the calamari on your dinner plate.

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"Staaf's approach is short and sweet, well illustrated and strong on playful narrative. . . I loved this book."Nature

"It is a treat to come across a writer with such specialized training who is able to turn esoteric knowledge into a page-turning read for all audiences. . . . Staaf captures what is rarely seen outside the ivory tower: scientists talking among themselves with a touch of irreverence. Researchers everywhere will surely relate."Science

"A book like Squid Empire is a reminder that in any scientific narrative, there are always two stories at play. There is the history of the subject you're studying, and then there is the history of its discovery."New Republic

"Intriguing . . . This in-depth coverage of an often neglected but ecologically vital group will change your view of squid, octopuses and their relatives."New Scientist

“Cephs rule! Squid Empire, like its protagonists, is nimble, fast, surprising, smart, and weird in the very coolest sense of the word. What could be more fun than jetting back in time to primordial seas with the monsters who really ruled our planet? In these pages, Danna Staaf makes every dino-lover and every undersea adventurer’s dream come true. It’s a fabulous read with squishy, slimy delight on every page.”—Sy Montgomery, New York Times-bestselling author of The Soul of an Octopus

“This crystal-clear book will open your world to wider horizons and much deeper times.”—Carl Safina, New York Times-bestselling author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

“This engaging book may do for early cephalopods what paleontologists did for dinosaurs in the 1960s: spark a public renaissance of appreciation for these magnificent creatures who once ruled the seas.”—Jennifer Ouellette, author of Me, Myself and Why and The Calculus Diaries


Oct 12: Leigh's Favorite Books in Sunnyvale, CA
Oct 20: Northern California Booksellers Association (NCIBA 2017), South San Francisco, CA
Oct 22: Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Seattle, WA
Oct 22-25: Geological Society of America (GSA 2017), Seattle, WA
Oct 26: Creatures of the Nightlife at the Cal Academy in San Francisco, CA(CANCELLED--a later appearance at the Cal Academy will replace)
Oct 30: Nerd Nite East Bay in Oakland, CA
Nov 4: Barnes & Noble in Gilroy, CA
Nov 8: Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA
Nov 16: Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse in La CaƱada Flintridge, CA
Nov 16-19: Western Society of Naturalists (WSN 2017) in Pasadena, CA
Dec 1: University of California, Berkeley
Dec 9: Writers with Drinks in San Francisco, CA
Jan TBD: Stanford University, CA
Jan 21: Science Sunday at the Seymour Center in Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 7: TONMOCON VII in Woods Hole, MA

Geeky t-shirt now available!