8.5 x 11, x + 152 pages, black & white illustrations, references, glossary, index
From north of Ketchikan to west of Barter Island, Alaska's waters are home to a diversity of sea creatures. This book is an introduction and guide to one group of these creatures, the bivalve molluscs. Sometimes edible, often elegant, the bivalves live everywhere from offshore sediments to intertidal rocks, often unknown except for empty shells washed onto beaches.
Intertidal Bivalves: A Guide to the Common Marine Bivalves of Alaska is intended to do more than help beachcombers identify the shells they find, although it will do that as well. Author Nora Foster has selected 106 of the most common Alaskan bivalves and shows readers how to identify each species through keys and detailed drawings. The distribution and habitat of the living animals is included. A glossary provides definitions and descriptions of the features necessary for identification. This guide also provides a discussion of paralytic shellfish poisoning, vital information for people pursuing wild seafood.
Though technically exact, the book is intended to satisfy the curiosity of the amateur naturalist as well as help the professional. It is the only identification guide to bivalves written specifically for Alaska's species.