Brimming with superb underwater photographs, hundreds of meticulously drawn color illustrations, tables, and graphs, this volume invites readers to observe the complex and beautiful world of shells more closely. The first part of the book explains how mollusks are formed and analyzes their anatomical structure. The text describes the vital functions of mollusks, including feeding, reproduction, and defense, and is accompanied by vivid photographs that bring to life small dramas of everyday life under water. Essential information for collectors is provided on how to classify, catalogue, and preserve shells. The latter part of the book is an exhaustive field guide to shells of the world, featuring photographs and descriptions of more than 400 different types. With its user-friendly layout and handy, portable format, this handbook is a superb travel companion and an invaluable reference for naturalists.