The Living and Fossil Busycon Whelks: Iconic Mollusks of Eastern North America

9780578170022: The Living and Fossil Busycon Whelks: Iconic Mollusks of Eastern North America

The Living and Fossil Busycon Whelks: Iconic Mollusks of Eastern North America, is the seminal book on Busycon whelks, including all 17 living species and over 100 fossil species. The book contains over 120 color plates and maps with pictures of these fascinating shells. A trip to an open shoreline anywhere along the eastern United States will quickly introduce a beachcomber to the busycon whelks. These iconic American shells are abundant in shallow water areas from Cape Cod south to Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and are often the most conspicuous large mollusks to wash up onto beaches after storms. Although the busycon whelks are recognized as being one of the most conspicuous and common groups of marine mollusks in eastern North America, their systematic classification and taxonomic nomenclature was uncertain at best. Over the past 100 years, these iconic American mollusks have been placed in no fewer than four different families, underscoring the wide range of professional opinions regarding the systematic placement of this group. These families have included the Melongenidae, Busyconidae, Fasciolariidae, and the Buccinidae. In this book, the authors follow the requirement of total evidence, utilizing several busyconid classification tools, including classic morphological characters such as shell shape, protoconch structure, and periostracal structure, and also the evolutionary history, fossil record, and biogeographical patterns for each genus and species complex, and where available biochemical and DNA studies. These are all combined in different ways to gain insight into a more precise systematic placement of these large and important marine animals. The authors bring together as many aspects of busyconid biology and paleontology as possible, including an iconography of over one hundred color figures representing both the living and fossil species with distribution maps for each living species and subspecies. These data and color images give a higher-resolution view of the origins and evolutionary patterns of this important and iconic American molluscan family.

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About the Author:

Edward J. Petuch's early interests in malacology and oceanography eventually led to BA and MS degrees in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Petuch studied marine biogeography and malacology under Gilbert Voss and Donald Moore at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami. During this time, his dissertation work involved intensive collecting and fieldwork in Colombia, Venezuela, Barbados, the Grenadines, and Brazil. After receiving his Ph.D. in oceanography in 1980, Petuch undertook two years of postdoctoral research, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, with Geerat Vermeij at the University of Maryland. While there, he also held a research associateship with the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Currently, Petuch is a professor of geology in the Department of Geosciences at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he teaches classes in oceanography, paleontology, and physical geology. Dr. Petuch has published 17 books including well-known reference texts in the malacological and paleontological communities, and some of the better known include Biogeography and Biodiversity of Western Atlantic Mollusks (2013), Cenozoic Seas: The View From Eastern North America (2004), The Geology of the Everglades and Adjacent Areas (with Charles Roberts, 2007), Molluscan Paleontology of the Chesapeake Miocene (with Mardie Drolshagen, 2010), Molluscan Communities of the Florida Keys and Adjacent Areas: Their Ecology and Biodiversity (with Robert Myers, 2014), New Caribbean Molluscan Faunas (1987), Cone Shells of the Okeechobean Sea (with Mardie Drolshagen and Gunther Herndl, 2015), and Atlas of Florida Fossil Shells (1994).

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