Mussel Filtration

Mussels grow in the intertidal (between low and high tide) clumped together in mussel beds. They attach with byssal threads, which are hair-like protein fibers, and are colloquially called “beards.” Mussels are filter feeders and have two siphons- one to pull water in and one to push water out. They are constantly filtering water around them and capturing good, nutritious particles like algae, while getting rid of water and other abiotic particles like silt.

So, mussels in beds are competing for the same food right??

Kind of, but they have a trick!

As mussels bring water and algae down, they filter away clean water. This provides room for new, algae richwater to move into the previously filtered space. Thus, mussels create their own current and have a continuously recharged supply of food!