The story of the tree snails of the Pacific Islands spans 250 years of the history of biology as a science. This runs from Captain Cook's first voyage of exploration, through the start of evolutionary theory and the development of the science of genetics.
'Snailing round the South Seas' traces this history through the surprisingly central role played by a group of snails.
Ultimately this leads into the struggle for survival in the modern world. Partula snails almost disappeared in the most rapid extinction event known so far and the survivors are among the rarest species on earth. Once more these snails have been at the heart of new developments, this time in conservation biology.