Table of Contents

Shell patterns - a natural picture book to study dynamic systems and biological pattern formation.
Pattern formation by local self-enhancement and long range inhibition.
Oscillations and traveling waves.
Superposition of stable and periodic patterns.
Crossings, meshwork of oblique lines and staggered dots: the combined action of two antagonists.
Branch initiation by global control.
The big problem: two or more time-dependent patterns that interfere with each other.
Parallel lines with tongues.
Shell models in three dimensions.
The computer programs.
Pattern formation in the development of higher organisms.
Pattern formation in development in which shell-related mechanisms are implicated. The patterns on the shells of tropical sea snails are not only compellingly beautiful but also tell a tale of biological development. The decorative patterns are records of their own genesis, which follows laws like those of dune formation or the spread of a flu epidemic. Hans Meinhardt has analyzed the dynamical processes that form these patterns and retraced them faithfully in computer simulations. His book is exciting not only for the astonishing scientific knowledge it reveals but also for its fascinating pictures.