Books et al.Marine Ecology

Beachcomber's delight

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Science  10 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6244, pp. 146
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac5988

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In Spirals in Time, Helen Scales takes readers on a fascinating journey into the strange and captivating world of shells, and the creatures that inhabit them. Mollusks, we learn, make up an enormously diverse phylum of organisms—an estimated 85,000 known species, with thousands more waiting in the ocean and in museum collections to be described. They have occupied a meaningful place in human history, serving as jewelry, currency, and in some cases, sending entire fleets of ships to the ocean floor, filled with bore holes like wheels of Swiss cheese. Reviewer Christopher Kemp delights in this carefully researched and "relentlessly interesting" tome, revealing a few of the seashell's many secrets along the way.