The Book of Honu: Enjoying and Learning about Hawai'i's Sea Turtles

Peter Bennett and Ursula Keuper-Bennett / A Latitude 20 Book / 135 pages

The Book of Honu is a wonderful guide for all turtle enthusiasts, especially those interested in seeing Hawaii’s green sea turtle, or honu, in the wild. The authors, Peter Bennet and Ursula Keuper-Bennet, are not scientists but their understanding of honu goes beyond science.

Their journey into the lives of honu began while on a dive in 1988. The pair encountered an individual green sea turtle who was infected with fibropapilloma tumors, a debilitating and often fatal disease, and pledged to tell her story by documenting the disease in the population. The resulting book is a detailed guide to safely and respectfully viewing, understanding and enjoying honu and is beautifully illustrated with images and stories of the turtles they encountered.

Topics covered in the book include honu behavior, physiology, individual personalities, habits, places to view honu and threats to them. Throughout the book, the authors stress the need to respect honu and provide tips on how to read their body language to spot each individual animal’s comfort zone. Over the years the couple has observed and identified 750 individual honu using photographs, which they use to raise awareness of the tumor problem in the population.

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