Zebra Mussels - 5 of 15

Zebra Mussels FAQs - 15 Found

What are zebra mussels and why should we care about them?

A zebra mussel is a type of mollusk, which also include a wide variety of organisms such as squids, octopuses, snails, oysters, scallops, and clams. Generally, zebra mussels live for four to five years and average about an inch in length. Mussels are also called "bivalves," which means they have two shells or valves. The zebra mussel gets its name because of the dark, striped pattern on each valve. Usually the shell is a light color, either tan or beige, with zig-zag stripes.

Zebra mussels are an invasive species that is very adaptable to new environments. They have the potential to inhabit most of the fresh waters of the U.S. and may impact a variety of native aquatic species and eventually entire ecosystems. They also have a large economic impact. Many power plants and water users have spent millions of dollars cleaning zebra mussels from their facilities. In addition, more money has been spent on retrofitting facilities with devices to keep zebra mussels out. These costs, unfortunately, get passed along to the consumers.

Zebra Mussel

Tags: Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Native Species, Mussels, Ecology, Predator, Aquatic