Shells: A Natural and Cultural History (Hardcover)

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Shells: A Natural and Cultural History By Fabio Moretzsohn, M. G. Harasewych (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Fabio Moretzsohn, M. G. Harasewych (Contributions by)
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Echoing with the sounds of the sea, an exquisite survey of the science and customs of conchs, clams, coquinas, cowries, and much more.
Shells have captivated humans from the dawn of time: the earliest known artwork was made on a shell. As well as containers for food, shells have been used as tools, jewelry, decorations for dwellings, and to bring good luck or to ward off spirits. Many Indigenous peoples have used shells as currency, and in a few places, they still do. This beautifully illustrated book investigates the fascinating scientific and cultural history of shells. It examines everything from pearls—the only gems of animal origin—to how shells’ diverse colors and shapes are formed. And it reveals how shells have inspired artists throughout history, how shells have been used in architecture, and even how shells can be indicators of changing environmental conditions. Also including two essays by shell expert M. G. Harasewych, emeritus curator of gastropods in the Smithsonian’s Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Shells is an authoritative exploration of the deep human connection to these molluscan exoskeletons of sea, lake, land, and stream.

About the Author

Fabio Moretzsohn (1964–2020) was visiting assistant professor in the Department of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. He is coauthor of Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells and, with M. G. Harasewych, The Book of Shells.

M. G. Harasewych is research zoologist and curator of marine mollusks at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which houses one of the world’s largest mollusk collections. He has discovered and described dozens of new genera and species, written widely for scientific journals and periodicals, and is the author of Shells: Jewels from the Sea.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781789147131
ISBN-10: 1789147131
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publication Date: September 11th, 2023
Pages: 176
Language: English