Microscopic observation of thick shelled river mussels.

Microscopic observation of thick shelled river mussels.

Have you ever seen what a tiny thick shelled river mussel looks like under a microscope ? About 2.5 thousand such mini-specimens hatched this season.

An adult thick shelled river mussel measures about 7 cm in length and filters 40 l of water per day, clearing it of suspended solids. However, it reproduces by shedding thousands of microscopic larvae into the water, which attach to the fish and fall off after 2 weeks; 99.9% of them will then die. This dangerous stage of their young lives can be facilitated by rearing the young under artificial conditions and releasing the reared larvae into the river. Young mussels are approx. 0.2mm long and hard to count, especially when we have 2,500 of them so far… they return the favor by filtering the water. For now, they feed by gathering food using their leg….

Be sure to watch.