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Friday, September 25, 2009

Mussels and their Mantles


In my post of our hike to Battelle Darby Creek, Jennie left the following comment:

"I'm interested in the "beautifully colored fish and fresh water mussels with their bizarre life histories". Recently read about the bitterlings laying eggs in the siphons of mussels, but didn't think that was a local phenomena. Love hearing all the co-evolved mutualisms. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction!"

Well Jennie- Instead of the fish laying their eggs in the mussels, the mussels actually have to get their larvae onto the gills of fish- believe it or not. And they have actually evolved lures to do this. I have photographed this phenomenon in May, 2008 with a plain pocketbook, Lampsilis cardium, as pictured above, and presented in video below.




I also quickly found these other videos on YouTube- These are great views Also- Dr. Tom Waters of Ohio State has posted these amazing videos on his website that are also must views.




A look at the lures of the wavy rayed-lampmussel.



And this video shows a smallmouth bass pecking at the mantle lure of a wavy rayed lamp mussel.




And this clip shows three fish, but one isn't a fish at all, it is the mantle lure of an unidentified mussel species. And I agree with Jennie. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Tom

This is my contribution to this week's Camera Critters.

15 comments:

  1. That is so cool! Thanks for the incredible videos.

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  2. Hey Tom -
    I'm loving your blog and will start following! I do have a question, since you seem to know about mussels...
    We're from ND but have a lake home in Minnesota where they've just discovered (ugh) Zebra Mussels. We are all very worried about the ramifications of this. I read that crawfish are a natural predator...do you know anything about the ZMussels or what to do when they show up? Sounds like there's no hope.

    Thanks much!
    Kit

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  3. Good job, Tom. Oddly, some of the lure flesh looked like Raman noodles! ;-)

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  4. Jackie- You are welcome.

    Kit- We're very familiar with zebra mussels here in Ohio- Lake Erie is virtually coated with them. They're also in inland waters. Ohio watched as they came in- I don't think anything can be done, but I would suggest contacting your department of natural resources for more advice.

    Thanks Buford- That is quite an interesting observation!

    Tom

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  5. Wow ... interesting, educational post and wonderful YouTubes. Thanks! (I have to be honest and say ... mussels aren't my favorite things ...they don't like my belly either!)

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  6. Thanks, Tom. I think the DNR here is all over it, but we're really bummed that these Zebra Mussels have arrived after avoiding them for so many years. Apparently, the big danger now is that they will make it into the Red River and eventually head up into Canada as well. Yikes.
    Anyway, thanks for the info...
    Kit

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  7. ohmigod, I have never seemed this critters , thanks for sharing! Very informative post!
    Happy camera critters, purrs and love
    Luna

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  8. Tom: Interesting info on the mussels, lucky you didn't step on it.

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  9. How interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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  10. I can't believe this something found on the continent!!! Amazing. You know I'm going to be on the lookout for them. Just, just way cool. Thanks big time.

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  11. wonderful photos, thanks for the videos. i enjoyed watching it.

    my entry: http://southbrowneyes.blogspot.com/

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  12. Snap- Don't worry, these mussels aren't edible- at least to most people.

    Kit- you are welcome, good luck, sorry we couldn't stop them in Ohio before they reached you.

    Luna- Aren't they interesting? I try to share things for camera critters that most people aren't familiar with.

    Tom- There is a mussel called the creek heelsplitter. You bet that someone stepped on that one and got a nasty cut.

    Joy- You are welcome

    Thanks Janet- Be on the lookout for freshwater mussels doing this, I found several on the Olentangy back when I lived closer to the river.

    Squirrel- Actually, the stronghold for freshwater mussels is in North America. It is a hotbed of biodiversity for them.

    Tulip- You are welcome.

    Tom

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  13. Thanks Tom. I appreciated the video clips and references. So much to learn! Isn't it awesome???

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