Combining biology, history and ecology, this is nature writing at its most engaging. A place to live - the ecology of shells 6. Completely engrossing, it introduced me to an astonishing world of undersea life, connecting those fascinating artifacts that many of us have picked up along the shore with such diverse themes as paleontology, ancient trade routes, marine ecology and even the 17th century slave trade. All in all, this is a highly readable book with tons of information that even the most knowledgeable conchologist would find fascinating. As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare.
From the history of the umbrella to the evolution of breakfast, you might be surprised to see that there are entire books written about some of these things. We learn how certain molluscs grow their shells, the logic and purpose of the intricate designs, how some of these creatures use their strange appendages. Thankfully, there are many dedicated men and women who are all doing their best to preserve and protect these seashells and little by little, their hard work is becoming successful and being recognized. Episode 1 Helen Scales defines 'molluscs', one of the most ancient and successful animal groups on the planet. Mollusks use and , secreted from their mantles, to build their shells. A twisty, immersive thriller, The Twilight Wife will keep readers enthralled through the final, shocking twist. Each chapter made me feel as if I were on a journey of discovery and marvel.
While the author's enthusiasm for her subject is obvious, it's not particularly contagious; I came away feeling a bit more educated particularly about cone snail toxins! I pick it up again about a decade ago, which means I was fortunate enough to have a few samples to inspect whilst reading this book. I did learn that one of the ways they get new shells is if a big crab sees a shell it wants and might have to fight for and there are a lot of other soldier crabs local name around they form queues from biggest to smallest. Scales clearly loves snails - she has done an elegant, excellent job of explaining her passion. In Spirals in Time, Helen Scales, marine biologist and storyteller extraordinaire, weaves tales about the many and varied makers of seashells and how humans have interacted with these animals and their shells throughout the ages and in present time. She tells about argonauts, the only octopuses with shells, money cowries uses as currency in Africa and traded for slaves, sea butterflies, sea angels, golden sea silk, cone snail toxins and many more intriguing tales. Subjects include the mathematical properties of spirals, sea shells, sun flowers, Greek architecture, air ships, the history of mathematics, spiral galaxies, the anatomy of the human hand, the art of prehistoric Europe, Alfred Hitchcock, and spider webs, to name a few. After it died it sank down to the seabed where a crab scuttled past, picked it up and climbed inside.
Poseidon's Steed, seemed to integrate the various aspects of seahorses science, culture, etc. This is an ideal book for a summer holiday, and beach finds will take on a new dimension because of it. The informative secondary text underscores characteristics specific to each shell. The assortment of topics is bizarre, ranging from species profiles, to biographies of scientists, to anecdotes of the author's travels. Take a look: On August 28, 1986, a fire at the Los Angeles Public Library destroyed a whopping 4,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.
Weaving through these stories are the remarkable animals that build them, creatures with fascinating tales to tell, a myriad of spiralling shells following just a few simple rules of mathematics and evolution. The author, however, does a marvelous job of weaving these vignettes of molluscan life with human history that the book continues to the very end to inspire me. Some will kill you if you stand too close. Way more fascinating than one might think. Helen Scales covers a wide range of topics as she tells us about molluscs in all their forms.
These coastal souvenirs are so commonplace we may forget how little we know about the animals that once inhabited them. Episode 5 Molluscs continue to surprise as researchers pursue medical advances, while scientists look to them as bellwethers of our impact on the seas. Sea butterflies are bioindicators, and their shells like so many others can deteriorate with changing conditions. Clarence Ellis is a charming, knowledgeable and witty guide to everything you didn't know there was to know about pebbles. These days I write books and articles, I make podcasts and radio, travel the world in search of stories, and do my best to spend as much time as I can in the sea as a scuba diver, free diver and rookie surfer. Even if you are not interested in seashells, the stories and information about our natural world would be of interest to anyone.
And yes those high ratings and reviews do get the book noticed and perhaps sales so it is all the more disappointing when the book proves to be average, or even less. There are so many different kinds of stories here, but she writes in a well-edited way that flows and is easy to read. Think like a snail - shells that inspire scientists in medicine, neurobiology, and other sciences 10. Shells are also bellwethers of our impact on the natural world. That said, I think it meandered a lot, and even took off on tangents exemplified by the story of sea-silk.
But rather than dwelling on what we risk losing, Spirals in Time urges you to ponder how seashells can reconnect us with nature, and heal the rift between ourselves and the living world. A Gambian women's collective for oyster harvesting is one example. Even the smallest, most everyday objects have some pretty large histories behind them. Shell food - eating and over-eating shellfish 5. The times are changing, and have been for a while now. Interestingly, according to Scales, hermit crabs never kill the current occupants of the shells; they wait until the mollusk has died, and let other animals do the eating, before they take over. Some species have been overfished, others poisoned by polluted seas; perhaps most worryingly of all, molluscs are expected to fall victim to ocean acidification, a side-effect of climate change that may soon cause shells to simply melt away.
Helen Scales leads us on a journey into their realm, as she goes in search of everything from snails that 'fly' underwater on tiny wings to octopuses accused of stealing shells and giant mussels with golden beards that were supposedly the source of Jason's golden fleece, and learns how shells have been exchanged for human lives, tapped for mind-bending drugs and inspired advances in medical technology. She explains why, in addition to being cool and interesting, such research has bigger implications, and how it relates to humans. Here are just a few you can use to wow fellow sunbathers this summer. Her sound science and knowledge of the subject matter combined with the ability to present the information in an entertaining and engaging manner made Spirals in Time an utterly delightful and accessible book. Shells are also bellwethers of our impact on the natural world. Nine out of ten shells coil to the right, and the rare left coilers have trouble mating because the rest of their anatomy also skews to the wrong side. Helen Scales covers a wide range of topics as she tells us about molluscs in all their forms.
Some will kill you if you stand too close. I wanted badly to know: How did the sound of the ocean get inside it? Members of the phylum Mollusca are among the most ancient animals on the planet. She doesn't seem to know which parts of her story will actually be interesting to a casual reader, often barely mentioning a quite compelling fact or story, only to dwell for ages on the ins and outs of some minor historical disagreement among researchers, for example. Dual-layered text highlights how shells provide more than a protective home in this expository nonfiction exploration. She looks at how mollusks inspire forward-thinking scientists, who study the paralytic toxin of cone snails to learn about muscle contractions and develop superglues that mimic the secretions that cement mussel byssus to slippery rocks.