With their exotic shapes and radiant colors, shells are among the most captivating of all nature's creations and have been highly valued by man since prehistoric times. Some cultures, recognizing their durability, used shells for trading; many, admiring their exquisite beauty, have featured them in their art and jewelry. This visually stunning book explores the remarkable variety of shells and offers an extensive guide to the world in which they thrive.
Mollusks, the animals without backbones for which shells serve as protection and shelter, are second only to insects as the most widespread creatures on earth. These adaptable animals are vividly captured by underwater photography in their natural habitats, from the coral theater of the warm seas to the richly vegetated underwater meadows. The illustrations reveal the shells just as divers would encounter them. Using full-color diagrams and charts, Shells explains the complex anatomies of various mollusks as well as the intricate construction of their shells.
For shell collectors of all levels, this book is full of practical advice. It explains how to classify, catalog, and preserve shells in collections that are both beautiful to look at and respectful of nature. In a comprehensive guide section, four hundred different types of shells of the world are described and illustrated, ranging from the most numerous to the rarest.
This book, with its up-to-date text and in-depth portrait of the jewels of the sea will be invaluable to naturalists, divers, lovers of marine life, and shell collectors at any level.