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The Book of Shells: A Life-size Guide to Identifying and Classifying Six Hundred Seashells,9780226315775

The Book of Shells: A Life-size Guide to Identifying and Classifying Six Hundred Seashells

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780226315775

ISBN10:
0226315770
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
6/30/2010
Publisher(s):
Univ of Chicago Pr
List Price: $55.00

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What version or edition is this?
This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 6/30/2010.
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.

Summary

Who among us hasn't marveled at the diversity and beauty of shells? Or picked one up, held it to our ear, and then gazed in wonder at its shape and hue? Many a lifelong shell collector has cut teeth (and toes) on the beaches of the Jersey Shore, the Outer Banks, or the coasts of Sanibel Island. Some have even dived to the depths of the ocean. But most of us are not familiar with the biological origin of shells, their role in explaining evolutionary history, and the incredible variety of forms in which they come. Shells are the external skeletons of mollusks, an ancient and diverse phylum of invertebrates that are in the earliest fossil record of multicellular life over 500 million years ago. There are over 100,000 kinds of recorded mollusks, and some estimate that there areover amillion morethat have yet to be discovered. Some breathe air, others live in fresh water, but most live in the ocean. They range in size from a grain of sand to a beach ball and in weight from a few grams to several hundred pounds. And in this lavishly illustrated volume, they finally get their full due. The Book of Shellsoffers a visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most intriguing mollusk shells, each chosen to convey the range of shapes and sizes that occur across a range of species. Each shell is reproduced here at its actual size, in full color, and is accompanied by an explanation of the shell's range, distribution, abundance, habitat, and operculumthe piece that protects the mollusk when it's in the shell. Brief scientific and historical accounts of each shell and related species include fun-filled facts and anecdotes that broaden its portrait. The Matchless Cone, for instance, orConus cedonulli, was one of the rarest shells collected during the eighteenth century. So much so, in fact, that a specimen in 1796 was sold for more than six times as much as a painting by Vermeer at the same auction. But since the advent of scuba diving, this shell has become far more accessible to collectorsthough not without certain risks. Some species ofConusproduce venom that has caused more than thirty known human deaths. The Zebra Nerite, the Heart Cockle, the Indian Babylon, the Junonia, the Atlantic Thorny Oystershells from habitats spanning the poles and the tropics, from the highest mountains to the ocean's deepest recesses, are all on display in this definitive work.

Author Biography

M. G. Harasewych is research zoologist and curator of marine mollusks at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which houses one of the world’s largest mollusk collections. He has discovered and described dozens of new genera and species, written widely for scientific journals and periodicals, and is the author of Shells: Jewels from the Sea. Fabio Moretzsohn has a doctorate in zoology and is a researcher for the Harte Research Institute in Texas. He has discovered a few new species of mollusks and is a coauthor of the Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells.

M. G. Harasewych is research zoologist and curator of marine mollusks at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which houses one of the world’s largest mollusk collections. He has discovered and described dozens of new genera and species, written widely for scientific journals and periodicals, and is the author of Shells: Jewels from the Sea. Fabio Moretzsohn has a doctorate in zoology and is a researcher for the Harte Research Institute in Texas. He has discovered a few new species of mollusks and is a coauthor of the Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells.



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