June 30, 2009: as big as a horse

Posted by Adam James on December 05, 2014 0 Comments

During last week's geoduck dig Nathan found this horse mussel sticking straight up out of the sand. horse-mussel

There are a lot of horse mussels on the beach, but because they live out deep you only see them on really low tides. They're much bigger than the ubiquitous blue mussels: this one was about 5 inches long and they can grow as large as 9 inches long. Like other species of mussel, the horse mussel attaches itself to firm substrates using byssal threads. A horse mussel's periostracum (or thin, outer layer) is covered with long, soft bristles. We have no idea what purpose this serves.

horse-mussel2

The inside of a horse mussel is as red as a blood oyster.

inside2

We found several sites that claimed horse mussels are eaten in Europe, but they're not on the menu in Lilliwaup anytime soon.

empty-shell

The interior of the mussel's shell is very iridescent compared to other Hood Canal bivalves, which tend to be plain janes.

upclose-inside

Previous Post Next Post

Comments (0 Comments)

There are no comments.

Post Comment





Map and Directions

map graphic of the Puget Sound. View in Google Maps