Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Book of Shells

Fabio Moretzohn, my fellow graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Zoology department recently published an amazing Book of Shells.

The book, co-authored by Dr. M.G. Harasewych,  hit NY Times best seller list!

Fabio taught me a lot about genetics, PCR, sequencing... and how to look like an evil lab scientist using dry ice during lab tours. Seriously; I remember him pouring dry ice into a flask for the express purpose of making our lab look "creepy".

According to Fabio, "The book is aimed toward the educated lay public who has an interest in natural history, but it can easily be read by children. The graphic designers did a great job at producing an eye-catching book, with an interesting layout, showing each shell in life-size, as well as a photo of the whole shell in case of large shells. Although it is intended as a coffee table-type book, there is a lot of current scientific information in it.

A nice review article was published in the New York Times, both in the online and print editions, on July 13, 2010 ( The online article has a nice slide show with short passages from the book (

The short article became popular, and the New York Times featured a link, with a photo of shells from the book, on the front page of its website. This caused enough traffic to drive the book to the bestseller list at Amazon! It is currently (as of 7/15) ranked as number 1 in several lists, including: Marine biology, Biological Sciences, Outdoors & Nature, Zoology, Animals, Seashells, and others. At some point it reached number 57 among the millions of books sold at Amazon. To see the current ranking, check the link below:"

Books on Science - Seashells by the Thousands, and the Stories They Tell -

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