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Flex Your Mussels

>> Thursday, September 12, 2013

Epioblasma raniana
Freshwater mussels play a vital role in aquatic ecosystems. They are amazing filters and are capable- in tight clusters- of filtering as much water as a treatment plant. It's no wonder why researchers working with the Illinois Natural History Survey, a division of the University of Illinois, have been working so hard to save two endangered species or mussel.

They moved individuals of the two endangered species- the northern riffle shell (Epioblasma rangiana)and the clubshell (Pleurobema clava)- from the Allgheny River in Pennsylvania to another area in the Ohio River Basin in Illinois. The species hadn't been seen in this area in about 100 years and have been transplanted with an 80% success rate. The area they were moved from was a site due for bridge restoration which would have greatly impacted the already dwindling numbers of these mussels.

You can read more at the University of Illinois site here.

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