One of NPR's Best Science Books of 2017

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.


"Fresh and fascinating."The Times Literary Supplement

"Fiendishly readable."The Inquisitive Biologist

"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

Geeky t-shirt now available!