Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are fingernail-size bivalves indigenous to parts of eastern Europe and the Caspian Sea region of Eurasia. Similar to other mussels, they are planktonic for the first few weeks of life, floating in currents and able to colonize new areas. They then attach to a hard substrate and become sedentary. Females are prolific, producing from 30,000 to over a million eggs during one spawning event.

Zebra mussels spread to western Europe approximately 200 years ago, invading all major rivers via canals. They have since spread to North America, presumably in the ballast water of ocean-going vessels. The mussels were first noticed in 1988 in Lake St. Clair in the Great Lakes region and have since spread to many lakes and river systems ...

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