Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells
Seashells are the sculpted homes of a remarkable group of animals: the molluscs. These are some of the most ancient and successful animals on the planet. But watch out. Some molluscs can kill you if you eat them. Some will kill you if you stand too close. That hasn't stopped people using shells in many ways over thousands of years. They became the first jewelry and oldest currencies; they've been used as potent symbols of sex and death, prestige and war, not to mention a nutritious (and tasty) source of food. Spirals in Time is an exuberant aquatic romp, revealing amazing tales of these undersea marvels. 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. 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. Shells are also bellwethers of our impact on the natural world. 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. 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.
- ISBN: 9781472911360
- Author(s): Helen Scales
- Stock Code: 2911360
- Format: Hardback
- Illustrations: Black & white illustrations, Colour illustrations
- Pages: 304
- Published: 2015
Paperback £16.99Buy Now
From time immemorial people have been drawn to the beach to collect practical resources as well as mysterious objects that have fuelled myth and folklore – it is our inherent hunter-gatherer instinct. Whether you are a seasoned beachcomber, a casual visitor or an enthusiastic naturalist The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline will satisfy your curiosity about the treasures found cast up on the beach strandline, be it a pretty seashell, a spent eggcase, a seaweed frond or an exotic ocean voyager. Every find has a story to tell and we aim to answer the questions that arise from each beachcombing discovery – what is it and where has it come from? Clear photographs and descriptions are accompanied by information about the natural history of the animals and plants you encounter.
Hardback £20.00Buy Now
Through a series of walks and rambles beside the sea, the author tells the engaging stories of some notable stretches of coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that are all protected by the National Trust.
Paperback £17.99Buy Now
This informative photographic guide will help nature enthusiasts visiting the seashore to discover and quickly and accurately identify over 400 species of animals and plants commonly found in the coastal areas of Britain. Young and old alike will delight in this beautifully practical guide. Colour photographs, 320pp. 2012
Hardback £20.00Buy Now
Written and presented in the same style as 2013's popular An Illustrated Country Year, Celia Lewis's beautiful new book covers the wildlife found on and around the seashore, above and under water. Illustrated throughout with Celia's gorgeous watercolours and linocuts, the book is broken up into seasons, with each featuring illustrations of flowers, insects, animals, fish, birds, shells and all sea-related species found at that time of year..An Illustrated Coastal Year highlights all the flora and fauna to look out for when you visit the coast and is perfect to dip into before or after any trip to our shores.