by Philip Street - £9.99 Faber & Faber (2019)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780571354450 | ISBN 10: 0571354459
For many, the highlights of seaside holidays are rockpooling and gathering the glorious array of shells left strewn on the beach after the receding tide. Attracted by the infinite variety of shapes and colours, visitors can never resist making a souvenir collection of their own - but little do they suspect the fascinating lives of the animals who once occupied them.
What if each shell had a story of its own to tell us, if only we knew the language? Mr Street's delightful, informative guide uncovers the secret history of each common shell, revealing not only which marine creature once inhabited it but the unique challenges of its watery habitat it had to solve.
From barnacles to oysters, cockles to sea slugs, winkles to carnivorous snails, molluscs and lesser-known members of the octopus family, Shell Life on the Seashore is the essential primer for recognising and collecting both these curious specimens and the 'empties' they leave behind - and will greatly increase the old-fashioned pleasures of a coastal holiday for all the family.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2019)