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  • José H. Leal

Shells of the World: A Natural History

Dr M.G. “Jerry” Harasewych is a research zoologist emeritus and former curator of mollusks at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He is also the author of several books on shells and a former member of the National Shell Museum and Aquarium board of trustees. His latest creation is a volume covering the great diversity found in the phylum Mollusca, showing examples from all molluscan classes. The illustrations are fantastic, and the natural history information, including life cycles, behavior, ecology, and habitat, is rich and diverse. 



This is not just another book on pretty shells. R. Tucker Abbott’s compact “Seashells of the World” first published in 1962, had as its subtitle “A Guide to the Better-known Species.” Unlike Tucker’s best-selling book, Harasewych’ s “Shells of the World: A Natural History” covers both well-known and not so well-known species, including rare deep-sea mollusks and those associated with unusual habitats such as hydrothermal vents, sponges, and driftwood, to name just a few. (Local color: Some of illustrations in the book were reproduced, with permission, from the Museum’s own blog “Curator’s Corner” and the “Southwest Florida Shells” guide.)


Shells of the World encompasses 240 pages, hundreds of illustrations, is published by Princeton Nature, and is scheduled to launch on April 9 through Amazon, ThriftBooks, and other online retailers. 

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