Among the many beautiful little things my future wife has brought along from her trips, one of the most remarkable souvenirs is a pair of small seashells she has found last week on the sandy beaches of Southern California. I have never seen clam shells like these before, although I have been collecting lots of them for myself at every occasion I have been at the seashore.
The shells have such a fine, creamy colour, with radiating lines painted in cafe au lait, and a beautiful shiny surface, they are just small little pieces of fine design no human artist could improve on.
If I got it right, these shells are a variety of shells of the Pismo clam (tivela stultorum), which is quite common in Southern California. Moreover, the mechanisms responsible for the formation of seashell patterns seem to be, in principle, understood. Complex, beautiful patterns can be reproduced by simple algorithms that model the growth of the shell and the spatio-temporal pattern of the deposition of pigments.
But the results are just marvellous.
Thank you, Bee :-)