SPIRALS IN TIME THE SECRET LIFE AND CURIOUS AFTERLIFE OF SEASHELLS

Download Spirals In Time The Secret Life And Curious Afterlife Of Seashells ebook PDF or Read Online books in PDF, EPUB, and Mobi Format. Click Download or Read Online button to SPIRALS IN TIME THE SECRET LIFE AND CURIOUS AFTERLIFE OF SEASHELLS book pdf for free now.

Spirals In Time

Author : Helen Scales
ISBN : 9781472911377
Genre : Nature
File Size : 80.82 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
Download : 252
Read : 271

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.
Category: Nature

Spirals In Time

Author : Helen Scales
ISBN : 1472911385
Genre : Nature
File Size : 86.68 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 684
Read : 789

Seashells, stretching from the deep past into the present day, are touchstones leading into fascinating realms of the natural world and cutting-edge science. Members of the phylum Mollusca are among the most ancient animals on the planet. Their shells provide homes for other animals; have been used as a form of money; and have been a source of gems, food, and new medicines. After surviving multiple mass extinctions millions of years ago, molluscs and their shells still face an onslaught of anthropogenic challenges, including climate change and corrosive oceans. But rather than dwelling on all that is lost, Helen Scales emphasizes that seashells offer an accessible way to reconnect people with nature, helping to bridge the gap between ourselves and the living world. SPIRALS IN TIME: THE SECRET LIFE AND CURIOUS AFTERLIFE OF SEASHELLS shows why nature matters and reveals the hidden wonders that you can hold in the palm of your hand.
Category: Nature

A Natural History Of Shells

Author : Geerat J. Vermeij
ISBN : 0691001677
Genre : Nature
File Size : 52.2 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 113
Read : 920

Geerat Vermeij wrote this "celebration of shells" to share his enthusiasm for these supremely elegant creations and what they can teach us about nature. Most other popular books on shells emphasize the identification of species, but Vermeij uses shells as a way to explore major ideas in biology. How are shells built? How do they work? How did they evolve? With these questions in mind, the author lucidly - and charmingly - demonstrates how shells give us insights into the lives of animals in our own day as well as in the distant geological past. As snails, clams, and other molluscs enlarge their shells, they inscribe a detailed record of the everyday events and unusual circumstances that mark their lives. Moreover, the fossil record that chronicles the history of life is replete with shells of extinct species. Vermeij draws on comparisons of shells from different parts of the world and from successive geological periods to argue that predators have played a decisive role in the evolution of shells. Architectural specialization, he argues, is dictated by the risks, rewards, costs, and benefits imposed by predators and competitors on shell-builders living in a dangerous world. This book will be of interest both to amateur shell collectors and to scholars, and its lively review of evolutionary history should prove especially appealing to a general audience.
Category: Nature

Poseidon S Steed

Author : Helen Scales Ph.D.
ISBN : 9781101133767
Genre : Nature
File Size : 29.60 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
Download : 506
Read : 332

A fascinating journey with the sea creature that has captured human imagination for thousands of years Poseidon's Steed trails the seahorse through secluded waters across the globe in a kaleidoscopic history that mirrors man's centuries-old fascination with the animal, sweeping from the reefs of Indonesia, through the back streets of Hong Kong, and back in time to ancient Greece and Rome. Over time, seahorses have surfaced in some unlikely places. We see them immortalized in the decorative arts; in tribal folklore, literature, and ancient myth; and even on the pages of the earliest medical texts, prescribed to treat everything from skin complaints to baldness to flagging libido. Marine biologist Helen Scales eloquently shows that seahorses are indeed fish, though scientists have long puzzled over their exotic anatomy, and their very strange sex lives — male seahorses are the only males in the animal world that experience childbirth! Our first seahorse imaginings appeared six thousand years ago on cave walls in Australia. The ancient Greeks called the seahorse hippocampus (half-horse, half-fish) and sent it galloping through the oceans of mythology, pulling the sea god Poseidon's golden chariot. The seahorse has even been the center of a modern-day international art scandal: A two-thousand-year-old winged seahorse brooch was plundered by Turkish tomb raiders and sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A book that is as charming as the seahorse itself, Poseidon's Steed brings to life an aquatic treasure. Seahorses lead quiet lives, tucked away out of sight on the seafloor. It is rare to catch a glimpse of a seahorse in its natural habitat. But even if few have seen one live, these exotic, seemingly prehistoric creatures exist quite vividly in our imaginations and they have mesmerized scientists, artists, and storytellers throughout time with their otherworldly rarity. Poseidon's Steed is a sweeping journey that takes us from the coral reefs and seagrass meadows of Indonesia where many seahorses makes their natural habitat to the back streets of Hong Kong where a thriving black market seahorse trade is concealed. Throughout history, seahorses have surfaced in some unexpected places and Scales also follows the seahorse back in time, from our most rudimentary seahorse imaginings six thousand years ago on cave walls in Australia, to the myths of ancient Greece. Scientists have long puzzled over seahorses' unusual anatomy and their very strange sex lives. And male seahorses are the only males in the animal world that experience childbirth! Seahorses are not what scientists call a "keystone" species. They rely on a healthy ocean to survive, but the marine ecosystem does not rely on them. But their delicate beauty reminds us that we rely on the seas not only to fill our dinner plates, but also to feed our imaginations.
Category: Nature

Amazing Arachnids

Author : Jillian Cowles
ISBN : 9781400890187
Genre : Nature
File Size : 88.31 MB
Format : PDF
Download : 843
Read : 810

A richly illustrated and up-close look at the secret lives of spiders and other arachnids The American Southwest is home to an extraordinary diversity of arachnids, from spitting spiders that squirt silk over their prey to scorpions that court one another with kissing and dancing. Amazing Arachnids presents these enigmatic creatures as you have never seen them before. Featuring a wealth of color photos of more than 300 different kinds of arachnids from eleven taxonomic orders--both rare and common species—this stunningly illustrated book reveals the secret lives of arachnids in breathtaking detail, including never-before-seen images of their underground behavior. Amazing Arachnids covers all aspects of arachnid biology, such as anatomy, sociality, mimicry, camouflage, and venoms. You will meet bolas spiders that lure their victims with fake moth pheromones, fishing spiders that woo their mates with silk-wrapped gifts, chivalrous cellar spiders, tiny mites, and massive tarantulas, as well as many others. Along the way, you will learn why arachnids are living fossils in some respects and nimble opportunists in others, and how natural selection has perfected their sensory structures, defense mechanisms, reproductive strategies, and hunting methods. Covers more than 300 different kinds of arachnids, including ones new to science Features more than 750 stunning color photos Describes every aspect of arachnid biology, from physiology to biogeography Illustrates courtship and mating, birth, maternal care, hunting, and defense Includes first-ever photos of the underground lives of schizomids and vinegaroons Provides the first organized guide to macroscopic mites, including photos of living mites for easy reference
Category: Nature

The Book Of Shells

Author : M. G. Harasewych
ISBN : 9780226177052
Genre : Science
File Size : 30.51 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download : 562
Read : 1200

Who among us hasn’t marveled at the diversity and beauty of shells? Or picked one up, held it to our ear, and then gazed in wonder at its shape and hue? Many a lifelong shell collector has cut teeth (and toes) on the beaches of the Jersey Shore, the Outer Banks, or the coasts of Sanibel Island. Some have even dived to the depths of the ocean. But most of us are not familiar with the biological origin of shells, their role in explaining evolutionary history, and the incredible variety of forms in which they come. Shells are the external skeletons of mollusks, an ancient and diverse phylum of invertebrates that are in the earliest fossil record of multicellular life over 500 million years ago. There are over 100,000 kinds of recorded mollusks, and some estimate that there are over amillion more that have yet to be discovered. Some breathe air, others live in fresh water, but most live in the ocean. They range in size from a grain of sand to a beach ball and in weight from a few grams to several hundred pounds. And in this lavishly illustrated volume, they finally get their full due. The Book of Shells offers a visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most intriguing mollusk shells, each chosen to convey the range of shapes and sizes that occur across a range of species. Each shell is reproduced here at its actual size, in full color, and is accompanied by an explanation of the shell’s range, distribution, abundance, habitat, and operculum—the piece that protects the mollusk when it’s in the shell. Brief scientific and historical accounts of each shell and related species include fun-filled facts and anecdotes that broaden its portrait. The Matchless Cone, for instance, or Conus cedonulli, was one of the rarest shells collected during the eighteenth century. So much so, in fact, that a specimen in 1796 was sold for more than six times as much as a painting by Vermeer at the same auction. But since the advent of scuba diving, this shell has become far more accessible to collectors—though not without certain risks. Some species of Conus produce venom that has caused more than thirty known human deaths. The Zebra Nerite, the Heart Cockle, the Indian Babylon, the Junonia, the Atlantic Thorny Oyster—shells from habitats spanning the poles and the tropics, from the highest mountains to the ocean’s deepest recesses, are all on display in this definitive work.
Category: Science

Eye Of The Shoal

Author : Helen Scales
ISBN : 9781472936837
Genre : Science
File Size : 40.99 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 163
Read : 776

Seventy per cent of the earth's surface is covered by water. This vast aquatic realm is inhabited by a multitude of strange creatures and reigning supreme among them are the fish. There are giants that live for centuries and thumb-sized tiddlers that survive only weeks; they can be pancake-flat or inflatable balloons; they can shout with colours or hide in plain sight, cheat and dance, remember and say sorry; some rarely budge while others travel the globe restlessly. And yet the mesmerising and complex lives of fish remain largely underrated and unseen, living hidden beneath the waterline, out of sight and out of mind. Helen Scales is our guide on an underwater journey, as we fathom the depths and watch these animals going about the glorious business of being fish. As well as the fish, we meet devoted fishwatchers past and present, from voodoo zombie potion hunters and scientists who taught fish how to walk to nonagenarian explorers of the deep sea. Woven throughout are vignettes of Helen's own aquatic explorations, from eerie nighttime dives with glowing fish and up-close encounters with giant manta rays, to floating in the middle of a swirling shoal being watched by thousands of inquisitive eyes. As well as being a rich and entertaining read, this book will inspire readers to think again about these animals and the seas they inhabit, and to go out and appreciate the wonders of fish, whether through the glass walls of an aquarium or, better still, by gazing into the fishes' wild world and swimming through it.
Category: Science

Compendium Of Seashells

Author : Robert Tucker Abbott
ISBN : 0966172000
Genre : Mollusks
File Size : 63.37 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
Download : 569
Read : 893

This is the 1998 reprint of this classic shell book. All of the world's shells are included, except for the very small (less than 1/2 inch), and the shells from great depths. Each shell is illustrated in color, and the brief description includes size, geographic range and habitat.
Category: Mollusks

Rats

Author : Robert Sullivan
ISBN : 1596919175
Genre : Nature
File Size : 46.45 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 968
Read : 328

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller, Robert Sullivan spends a year investigating a rat-infested alley just a few blocks away from Wall Street. Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses-its herds-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing. RATS was named a New York Public Library "Book to Remember" in 2004
Category: Nature

Octopus

Author : Roland C. Anderson
ISBN : 9781604695007
Genre : Nature
File Size : 86.52 MB
Format : PDF
Download : 267
Read : 1257

The visually arresting and often misunderstood octopus has long captured popular imagination. With an alien appearance and an uncanny intellect, this exceptional sea creature has inspired fear in famous lore and legends—from the giant octopus attack in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Ursula the sea witch in The Little Mermaid. Yet its true nature is more wondrous still. After decades of research, the authors reveal a sensitive, curious, and playful animal with remarkable intelligence, an ability to defend itself with camouflage and jet propulsion, an intricate nervous system, and advanced problem-solving abilities. In this beautifully photographed book, three leading marine biologists bring readers face to face with these amazingly complex animals that have fascinated scientists for decades. From the molluscan ancestry of today’s octopus to its ingenious anatomy, amazing mating and predatory behaviors, and other-worldly relatives, the authors take readers through the astounding life cycle, uncovering the details of distinctive octopus personalities. With personal narratives, underwater research, stunning closeup photography, and thoughtful guidance for keeping octopuses in captivity, Octopus is the first comprehensive natural history of this smart denizen of the sea.
Category: Nature