by R. Tucker Abbott

Shells (Portland House)

Portland House (1989). Index. 160pp. 11 x 13.25 inches. Hardcover. ISBN 0-517-68850-6. Over 160 photographs.

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Cover Notes

About the Book

Seashells and exotic tree snails can be found almost anywhere in the world: from the depths of the oceans to the sandy seashores and from the tropical South Sea isles to the highlands of the Himalayas. More than 80,000 kinds of shells exist and a rich sampling of them can be found in this handsome book along with the fascinating story of how mollusks live, breed and give birth.

Since prehistoric times we have used shells as ornaments, food, tools, money and symbols of religion and fertility. Intriguing facts about such shells — from colorful clams and conchs to shiny cowries and gaudy scallops — abound.

The more than 160 full-color pictures that appear in this book were taken by oceanographers, shell explorers and some of the world's most accomplished nature photographers. An international fellowship of shell collectors search the remote areas of the earth to study and photograph these exquisite, living forms. Like frozen crystallized remains, the intricate sculpturing and dazzling patterns record the life history of each individual shell; these photographs are the next best thing to holding a shell in our hands.

The author, Dr. R. Tucker Abbott, an internationally known authority in conchology,l has also provided an index of the common names as well as an index of the scinetific names of the shells pictured.

Everyone, whether vacationing beachcomber or serious collector, will find Shells delightful and informative — and beautiful.

About the Author

R. Tucker Abbott is one of the leading conchologists of the world, having served as a research scientist for forty years at Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. An arden conservationist, he had led numerous expeditions to study mollusks in China, the Philippines, Africa, Cuba and the South Seas. He is renowned for his popular interpretation of science, having written many books, including American Seashells, Kingdom of the Seashell and Compendium of Seashells, as well as producing several tape recordings about shells. Dr. Abbott is also the Founding Director of the Shell Museum and Educational Foundation on Sanibel Island (Florida).

Design Credits

Cover photograph by James H. Carmichael, Jr.

Jacket design by Ann-Louise Lipman.

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