Shell Characteristics


Figure by Chris Todd, redrawn from figures presented in A Guide to the Freshwater Mussels of Ohio, revised 3rd edition.

Freshwater mollusks are soft fleshy organisms that are protected by two hard calcareous outer coverings called shells. The two shells are hinged by a ligament which holds the two shells together. The shells come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. They also have a variety of bumps and ridges that are characteristic for the various species.


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