Edge of the tide: a natural history of beachcombing

Rachel Carson, now better known for blowing the whistle on pesticides than for her revelatory books about the sea, once tried to buy the only specimen of the pelagic violet snail Janthina in a shell shop in North Carolina. Rebuffed, she waited on luck, and ‘later I found an empty shell, light as thistledown, resting in a

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