True siphons and or tubes for water intake and release are not common characteristics among the North American freshwater mussels but are present in other species on other continents. The top siphon allows for food, nutrients, and water to enter the body; and (in the case of females) allows the sperm to enter the body. The bottom siphon allows for the excretion of waste materials along with water and glochidia from the female's body.
Return to the Anatomy of a Bivalve
Return to the Mussel Characteristics
Return to the Feeding Page
Return to the Introduction of the Freshwater mussels
Return to the Biology Home Page
Return to the Marietta College Home Page