History of the Man and Mollusc Site

Man and Mollusc was a dream I got about five years ago. While searching the WWW, I was surprised at just how little molluscan educational materials were available. There were a couple of major sites, and a few minor sites, at that time as compared to literally the hundreds of sites out there today.


In 1999 I started writing a paper on the uses of molluscs by man throughout the ages. This became the first article that I had ever wrote and it became the first article on my web. (See Man and Mollusc: Uses of Shell-Bearing Molluscs: Past, Present & Future)

I had a major problem; however, I knew nothing about developing a web site. I was and still am, a member of the Conch-L listserve and through that connection, I met up with a fellow Canadian, Ross Mayhew. He kindly offered to help develop the web site and on December 01, 1999, we aired the Man and Mollusc site.

How Ross and I suffered! I was a PC user and used only Microsoft programs. Ross was an Apple user and as we soon found out that the two programs were, and still are, as different as night and day. Not only was the coding different, but its appearance on the various browsers was also different. In our own way, we over came this problems.

Over the next year under the tutelage of two very patient teachers, Fabio and Shawn, I finally learned to develop my own HTML pages.

Ross was invaluable in the area of editing my first articles. We regularity talked over how articles could be improved and discussed plans for new articles and pages for the future of this site.


On researching new ideas for articles over the last year, I discovered so many wonderful sites throughout the world that It became evident that , "why should I reinvent the wheel?" Just show others how to get in touch with this wealth of information available. By developing an Internet Resource section I hope to succeed in doing just that. Many have tried in varying degrees to do just this, and many have failed or only met with limited success. It is unbelievable just how fast link addresses change or simply disappear. It's quite a challenge to keep current; but I'm going to give it a good try.

Several new articles were added by varying members of the Conchological world and I have made many new and wonderful email friends through this web site. Man and Mollusc went over the 10,000 hit mark by the end of the year.


Man and Mollusc has taken an an entity of its own and became to resemble a growing child to me, both in thrills and in problems. Ross and I differed greatly in styles (especially colour schemes) and at times I felt like I wanted more control over my site. I finally took over complete control of the site in March of this year (2001). Ross continues to be a great advisor and friend. He still manages and submits the "Mollusc of the Moment" page and still contributes many great ideas and is busy scouting new articles for the site. But, now, if a link is broken or any other troubles, that's MY PROBLEM to fix. I'm retired so I do have the time for this work.

June saw Shawn (my computer instructor) and I busy removing all that nasty MS and Netscape Composer coding and getting all of the Man and Mollusc pages into pure HTML. This left many pages unavailable for some days and WOW, what a mess it made of some of my diagrams. Slowly everything is getting back to where it should be. Every page has now been reworked using Dreamweaver.

September: All the Man and Mollusc pages have now been edited, and hopefully much-improved, at least once. The MS beasties have been banished and everything should be now pure HTML.
The Internet Resource Section has now had over 18,000 hits (In one year)and the educational section has had over 17,000 hits (in less than two years). Man and Mollusc now contains over 9,000 external links and just about 1,000 internal links!
In order to help defray the costs of providing this educational and resource web site along with the expense of donating shell kits to schools and other educators, I will be searching for sponsors. For details, please see the "Sponsorship Information" page. (first Ad banners will appear, hopefully the 1st of October 2001)

The first two sponsorship banners aired in Oct. 01, 2001. Hopefully this will be the first of many as site expenses are mounting and I've donated six school Marine Kits this year.

October 08: Man and Mollusc site was split into four distinct sections to ease navigation:
  1. General Zone
  2. Internet Resources Zone
  3. Kid's Zone
  4. Malacology Zone

The following pages were also added to the site:

Hopefully, the site has become easier to navigate and that it becomes a tool for all to use. I'm very appreciative of all suggestions on how to improve the site. I also want to encourage people to let me know if I have made a mistake or if data should be updated.

This fall, Shawn and I have been working on making the site more accessible for people who have vision impairment difficulties, this includes me as my diabetes has begun to affect my vision. You may have noted that many of the fancy backgrounds on some pages are disappearing and that the fonts on most pages have been increased in size and are bolded.

For a year now, I have been working on an "Edible Molluscs" data base. This will be far from completed, such a data base will never be complete, but I will link it to the site by the end of the year.

Robynn, Shawn's wife (a teacher) is busy working on several lesson plans (K - 12) and a "Sammy the Snail children's story. These will be announced in the new year as they are completed.

For the holiday season, I have tried something a little different; I placed a separate Holiday Greetings Page and made an ecard available. This met with limited success but bears repeating next year.


To bring in the new year, I add a New Years Card

January also saw the introduction of the "Edible Mollusc" Data Base: This is a work in progress. As there are literally thousands of species of molluscs consumed world wide, it may never be truly finished. I hope to add an archeology section to it sometime this year. I thank all those who contributed data for this very large under taking.

I also added a new zone: the "Teacher's Zone": this is my way of saying thanks to all teachers that take the time to educate and guide the youth of today. I hope to make finding good molluscan educational materials for the class just a little easier to access.

A new team of three: myself, Avril Bourquin, Robynn Honeychurch (a teacher) and Anna Palumbo (an artist) all from beautiful British Columbia have formed a team and a new Chapter to the Man and Mollusc.net enterprise. We have started to produce Man and Mollusc's very own "Children's Books". The first we hope to have published in book form by this summer. It has not been decided whether to offer this book in a modified form to the actual web site or just to make the book available for sale. We actually have the book themes for five books. This is our first such project and we're all quite excited about the new venture.

April 2002: The first Lesson Plans for K-12 have been placed onto the Teacher's Zone. This got considerable notice it's first week seeing over 1,500 hits. Sammy's Adventure Story also was put online for educators to use

April 08 saw a new record number of Home Page Hits: 534 in 24 hours. Not Bad!

All site counters have been changed to "z counters" as of April 9 or 10, 2002. To get accurate counts, the old totals are by the new counter and need to be added on. Due to the number of counters I use and to the fact that some counter companies started to charge for their services I found it time to switch and standardize all the counters found on Man and Mollusc.

June 1, 2002: Due to an increase in the number of people approaching me to sell private collections, I have started up a new page. I believe I shall have a first sale up this month. I hope that the small fee charged for this service will help to cover my increasing web expenses. Sponsorships continues to be very slow in coming in. All companies that I have approached privately in the last few months have failed to bring in much needed financial assistance.
Sammy's Adventure Childrens Book goes to print this summer with Friesen's Printers.

NOTE: (Posted June 01, 2002) due to a poor response in recieving private and commercial sponsors, I have had to resort to using affilite banners to help finance this web site and the shell donations I frequently make. Web costs have risen to accompany the increased size of Man and Mollusc and I have had many requests for shells and educational kits. Many of these kits have to be shipped out of Canada and shipping charges are also getting quite costly. If you wish to sponsor a page that has this kind of advertising on it, it will be removed from that page and be replaced by your personal banner.

August 03, 2002: New counter system from Globel installed. Marked pages (at this time 16) will have a double counter at the bottom of their page. One will show only the count for that page the other will show the count for all the marked pages. See example at bottom of this page.

September 08: Using eBay as a sponsor has proved totally unsuccessful so these banners are now being removed. I will continue with private sponsorship. Also as of September, I will be choosing one sponsor per month to appear on my homepage. I hope that you will take the time to visit my sponsor if they have a site or are indeed a commercial dealer. Thanks to their help in purchasing sponsorship ads on Man and Mollusc, four new shell kits have been sent out to schools in the year 2002. These kits have an approximate value of $200.00 US dollars. They have gone to three schools (Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and one museum in Winnipeg). Last year (2001) six kits were provided. Three of these went to international addresses. Any school or museum world wide doing school projects may apply for these kits.

September 17, 2002: New Article added to site

  • Spondylus, Strombus, and Conus: Offerings to the Andean Gods :(Sept. 17): National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, Peru, Lima: Article by: Manuel Gorriti Manchego and Victor Falcon Huayta: A wonderful article by these gentlemen on the archaeological use of molluscs in Peru. This article will appear in both English and Spanish(Coming soon)

Week of September 16 to 20: A new general interest and help page will be added. This is in the form of a translation page.

October 10, 2002: Announced "Sammy's Adventure" for sale!!


January 02: "Sammy's Adventure" now online in Spanish. This is a non-illustrated story which can be used by educators or to accompany English Book sales when a Spanish translation is needed.

March 30:

  • "Sammy's Adventure" translations now online. Online at this time are: Dutch, English, German,  Russian and Spanish. Coming soon: Africans, and Portuguese.
  • Discussion Zone:Due to lack of interest, The Discussion Forum has been removed from the site. (March 17, 2003).

May 31:

  • "Sammy's Adventure" translations now online. Online at this time are: Dutch, English, German,  Romanian, Russian and Spanish. Coming soon: Africans, and Portuguese.
  • Due to continuing problems with some people signing the guestbook with less than flattering language, I have found it necessary to discontinue the use of this tool.
    I enjoyed reading the signatures I received by the many who took the time to sign my guestbook since 1999 and I do thank you. However, to remain a family friendly site, I will not tolerate foul or other such comments to remain on my Man and Mollusc site.

August: Change of address from avril@rockies.net to avrilb@telus.net. Domain Name registration changed. Initiating site changes to be completed by the middle of November

October 05: Major changes to my sponsorhip and on site advertising will be taking effect this month.

November 01:

The site is now under the new median link program as a partner to ensure it’s continued growth for the future and as I am sure you will agree it is a very informative site on it’s related subject matter and does require support from advertising revenues in order to grow!

Daily I am contacted from various commercial and private web site owners to provide a link to their site. Man and Mollusc now has a Page Rating of 6 and I find that many people are wanting to link to the site not only as a resource but also to further their own sites popularity. To help bring kaos into order and in hopes of gaining some financial support for my ever increasing web expenses, I have decided to make certain policy changes.

From this time forward, all commercial links on site will require at minimum a reciprocal link. It is hoped that if you appreciate the exposure Man and Mollusc could bring to your site that you will consider joining the Media links program.

As a potential advertiser I would ask you to please review our site rate card at: http://www.median-link.com for price on advertising! For instance a front page PR6 text link will cost as little as $4.40 per month. Take a look at: http://www.median-link.com/why_advertise.htm to see how this site can benefit yours.

During the next few weeks, all commercial content links on Man and Mollusc will be contacted in regards to this change in policy.

December 31, 2003:
As I say good bye to yet another year, I must also say adieu to Shawn Honeychurch; but just from the site. Shawn, wife Robynn and daughter Soleil (born may 27, 03) continue to be my best of friends but as Man and Mollusc moves into a new phase of development, Paul now steps into the position of technical advisor and assistant webmaster. Welcome Paul.

Paul is continuing his optimization of Man and Mollusc site. These improvements are evident in the form of higher page rankings and higher traffic volumes to the site every day.

Paul and I are looking forward to providing you with continued "good" educational molluscan materials through Man and Mollusc and we wish one and all a "Very Happy New Year!"


February 2005: I have started to process of moving all Non-Molluscan content to my new Web site: Avril's Place.com
I will no longer take on sales of private collections. Too time consuming and my health is forcing me to slow down.


I invite you drop by often and enjoy all the site has to offer. My thanks goes out to the many who have contributed to the site and its development. I think I can honestly say "Man and Mollusc" is a success!

Avril Bourquin



To Shawn Honeychurch, my new computer and web assistant, who gets disturbed by phone calls all day long and patiently answers all my questions, A BIG Thank you!

To Ross, a BIG THANKS for everything in the past and for everything yet to come. Keep those wonderful Mollusc of the Moment columns rolling in!

To each person that has donated articles, photos, clip art, graphics ideas, and so much encouragement to keep the site evolving, THANKS!  This site is what it is because of your help.

Finally, To my ever-so-patient husband, who has put up with a wife sometimes many, many hours on the computer per day, who has cooked many meals, assisted in house work and various other chores as I typed away and yes often cussed at the computer, I love you!

To Page Top


This is a new counter system set up by Globel on
December 01, 2002