Freshwater predatory fish list

Mussel Anatomy


Freshwater mussels, also called naiads or unionids by scientists, consist of a soft body enclosed by a hard shell made up of two shell halves called valves. Inside the shell a thin tissue called the mantle completely surrounds the soft body. This mantle is also the part of the body that secretes the two valves of the shell. The valves, which are held together by an elastic-like hinge, have the ability to be closed by two strong adductor muscles whenever the animal senses a threat.

Mussels are closely related to other bivalves (marine mussels and clams), as well as snails and even octopuses.

Freshwater mussel anatomy


Freshwater Mussels on the St. Croix RiverMussels living in our lakes and rivers filter oxygen and tiny plankton and nutrient particles from the water, cleansing the water in the process and absorbing what they consume into their bodies and shells.

They do this by drawing water in through their incurrent siphon, moving the water over their gills, and then passing the water out through their excurrent siphon. Oxygen is absorbed through the gills, and food in the water, mostly particulate organic matter and phytoplankton, is carried to the mussel's mouth by tiny hair-like cilia located on their gills.


Freshwater mussels on the St. Croix River

They may be eye-catching, but mussels remain unfamiliar to most people because they spend their lives partially buried in river and lake bottoms, where they can be mistaken for rocks. Most people are not aware of the many different kinds of animals that live under the water of our lakes and streams. Mussels are one of these often overlooked animals

Freshwater Mussel Life CycleFreshwater mussels inhabit lakes and rivers throughout the world, but they reach their greatest diversity in North America, where about 300 species are found. They often live in multi-species communities called mussel beds. These beds can support 30 or more species and are generally more diverse in rivers and streams than in lakes.


Freshwater mussel life cycle

Freshwater mussels have a complicated life history that is tightly linked to freshwater fishes. Males release sperm, (in illustration: 1, 2), into the water that are drawn in by the females. The fertilized eggs are brooded in the female's gills (in illustration: 3), where they develop into tiny larvae called glochidia . The glochidia are then released by the female mussels and attach to fish gills (in illustration: 4) or skin as temporary parasites.

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A case against punctuated equilibrium

2008-10-01 20:36:59 by HispanicMan

LONDON (Reuters) - Some colorful cichlid fish in Africa's Lake Victoria formed a new species by adapting their vision, showing that geographical isolation is not essential for divergence.
The fish evolved to improve their ability to see food and predators at different depths, and this also affected the way they saw colors and attracted mates, said Ole Seehausen, who led the study published in the journal Nature.
"The split of one species into two was initiated by adaptation of the sensory system, in this case the eyes, to the local environment," said Seehausen

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