Everyone knows what a seashell is—or do they? As children, many people collected them off the beach during their summer vacations. Some continue to collect them as adults. Even if they didn’t collect them, almost everyone has seen a shell or at least a picture of one. Many people, however, don’t realize that an animal lives inside a seashell; and fewer have actually seen a living shell. This book will hopefully introduce people to living seashells but not just any living shell. This book contains photographs of some of the rarest and some of the most beautiful living shells in the world.
Seashells are part of the group of animals called mollusks. Mollusks contain specific groups of shells called Gastropods, Bivalves or Pelecypods, and Cephalopods. Gastropods contain the most familiar seashells and look like what people would classify as a proper seashell or snail. Bivalves, on the other hand, contain the two shelled animals including clams, mussels and oysters. The cephalopods or “head footed” animals include the nautilus, octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. This book contains photographs of many living examples of all three of those groups. Some are very rare; some are common; all are beautiful; but most importantly, all are living and photographed in their natural habitat. None were photographed in an aquarium.