Connecticut Audbon Society


The Answer for the May 18 Mystery is…..

If you guessed Mussel , You are Correct!!!







Did you know?

  • The mussel’s external shell is composed of two hinged halves or “valves”. The valves are joined together on the outside by a ligament, and are closed when necessary by strong internal muscles (anterior and posterior adductor muscles)
  • Mussels are bivalves are are mostly browish-black exterior with irredescent inner shell.
  • Like most bivalves, mussels have a large organ called a foot.In marine mussels, the foot is smaller, tongue-like in shape, with a groove on the ventral surface which is continuous with the byssus pit. In this pit, a viscous secretion is exuded, entering the groove and hardening gradually upon contact with sea water, creating the byssal threads.
  • Byssal Threads are used to secure the mussel in place making it more difficult for predators to remove.
  • Mussels live in colonies in salt marshes or bays where the water is more calm.
  • In marine mussels, fertilization occurs outside the body, with a larval stage that drifts for three weeks to six months, before settling on a hard surface as a young mussel.
  • Mussels are filter feeders; they feed on plankton and other microscopic sea creatures which are free-floating in seawater. A mussel draws water in through its incurrent siphon. The water is then brought into the branchial chamber by the actions of the cilia located on the gills for ciliary-mucus feeding. The wastewater exits through the excurrent siphon.
  • In roughly 12–15 months, mussels reach marketable size (40mm) and are ready for harvest.
  • Humans have used mussels as food for thousands of years. About 17 species are edible.Mussels can be smoked, boiled, steamed, roasted, barbecued or fried in butter or vegetable oil. 







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