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Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells Paperback – July 26, 2016
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“Molluscs may not seem life's most exciting phylum. But Helen Scales, a marine biologist-turned-science writer, makes an impassioned and convincing case otherwise.” ―The Economist
“An enchanting, accessible tour of the seashell and its place and purpose within the natural world.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Scales . . . brings a marine biologist's eye and aficionado's heart to these musings on seashells . . . [Her] eclectic approach to this ancient bridge between the human and natural worlds conveys her curiosity and appreciation.”” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Helen Scales is a marine biologist who has tagged sharks in California and studied the diverse fish that live on coral reefs in the South Pacific. She is a freelance researcher and science reporter, and the author of POSEIDON'S STEED: THE STORY OF SEAHORSES, FROM MYTH TO REALITY. Scales lives in Cambridge, England.
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This is the first thing I learned when I opened Spirals in Time at random and read a page or two, to see if it was a book I would be interested in reading. If you are looking for a typical seashell book, filled with masterful color photographs of intricately-patterned shells, this is most definitely not the book for you. If you are enough of a naturalist to be interested in learning that the intricate shell patterns may have served as a memory-aide to the shell maker, helping him construct his shell in good order, or in learning that the rasping teeth of the limpet are made of an iron compound that is the hardest biological material known, or in finding out that the marine snail called the giant triton eats tire-sized, poisonous, coral-reef-destroying crown of thorns starfish, then you will probably enjoy reading Spirals in Time. Author Helen Scales says just enough about each of the many topics in the book to spark curiosity, and if you have as much curiosity as I do you will find yourself checking google to learn more, and to look at pictures of the pretty shells. But, with so many topics covered, the reader may find interest waxing and waning – I, for instance, was intrigued when learning about some of the details of what is known or suspected about the evolution of mollusks (spell check insists on “mollusk” while google seems to be just as set on “mollusc”) but found myself much less interested in the details of commercial shellfish farming.
Most recent customer reviews
I will never look at a clam the same way again