Mussels are filter feeders that filter microscopic aquatic life, such as plankton, from the water around them. The larvae of some mussel species are temporarily parasitic.Know More
Mussels are bivalves, like clams and oysters, that live in both saltwater and freshwater habitats. A mussel feeds by filtering water through the body. Water enters through the incurrent syphon organ and moves through the body via the motion of cilia. Wastewater exits the mussel's body through the excurrent syphon. Food filters out of the water, and labial palps pass it to the mussel's mouth. A mussel's food typically consists of phytoplankton, zooplankton and algae.
The larvae of certain freshwater mussels spend a portion of their lives as a sort of parasite, living on the gills of a host fish. This does not typically harm a fish unless the larval load is extremely high.
Mussels are important indicators of the health of a waterway. Mussels also keep waterways clean of excess plankton and algae and may even filter out some harmful bacteria.
Zebra mussels are a mussel species native to eastern Europe that is invasive in many North American waterways. Like other mussels, zebra mussels are filter feeders. They inhabit waterways in numbers so great that their populations are capable of filtering the entire contents of some lakes and ponds in a single day, robbing native aquatic species of sustenance.Learn more about Marine Life
Water snails are herbivores whose diets consist of algae and other forms of vegetation. Both in captivity and the in the wild, water snails adapt their diets to eat nearly any type of vegetation or micro-organism that is available in their habitats.Full Answer >
Mussels and clams primarily differ in habitat and anatomy. Both mussels and clams are classified as bivalves and fall into the category of edible shellfish. Mussels congregate in freshwater and saltwater habitats, while clams are found in freshwater bodies such as lakes, ponds and streams.Full Answer >
The differences between clams, mussels and oysters lie mostly in the shapes of their shells. Many types of clams have the classic clam-shaped shell with ridges or concentric rings. They also come in many colors and sizes, though the ones sold at the fishmonger's are only a few inches long. Razor clams resemble straight razors.Full Answer >
The predators of plankton include whales, sharks and many different types of invertebrates. Many species of plankton feed on other types of plankton, sometimes even cannibalizing their own species.Full Answer >