Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells by Helen Scales

bookshelves: published-2015, radio-4, nonfiction, sciences, seven-seas, summer-2015, environmental-issues, history, mythology, nature

Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read on August 15, 2015


Description: Marine biologist Dr Helen Scales tells the story of seashells; from the molluscs that create them to the humans who have used them as jewellery, symbol and even currency.

Triton with his shell horn.

1/5: Helen Scales defines ‘molluscs’, one of the most ancient and successful animal groups on the planet.

2/5: The author considers the human use of shells – from jewellery via fertility symbol through to their link with a dark episode in human history.

3/5: Helen Scales investigates the bizarre world of the hermit crab and uncovers the truth behind the near-mythical substance ‘sea silk’.

4/5: the impact of fossilised shells on agriculture and geology, peeking into the driven world of the shell collector.

5/5: Molluscs continue to surprise as researchers pursue medical advances, while scientists look to them as bellwethers of our impact on the seas.

I especially enjoyed the myth of sea sheep giving us sea silk!

Descartes logarithmic spiral


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