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Nifty little things 

The patterns of many shell species are never seen in the darkness where they reside. Some cover their elaborate designs with an extra layer of protein, making them look like mossy rocks. For a long time researchers suspected that shell patterns had lost any ties to natural selection. Recent findings suggest that genetic relationships do, in fact, correlate closely with shell patterns. But what is the point of them? My review of Helen Scales's clever Spirals in Time.