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Facts About East Coast Mussels

Posted on: September 22, 2015, in DID YOU KNOW

Facts About East Coast Mussels

Did You know?
Although some mussels can live for up to 50 years, the brown mussel that we find along the east coast of SA only lives about 2 years. Pearls are cultivated in freshwater mussels. You can tell the difference between wild and cultured mussels by looking for the dull bluish colour, white erosion marks and attached barnacles of the former. Cultured mussels have shiny blue-black shells. The mussel’s arch enemy is the dog whelk, which bores a hole through its shell and sucks out the soft parts. Mussels affix themselves to substrata such as rocks by their byssal threads or ‘beards’. These are produced as a liquid, which sets in contact with seawater. The byssal threads are so adhesive they can even cling to Teflon; scientists are trying to develop a mussel-based adhesive for use in eye surgery.

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