Crazy Mussel Mimicry!


Freshwater mussels of the genus lampsilis, which inhabit the rivers of Minnesota, evolved to have their young develop in the gills of bass. Problem is they can’t swim. So how then, do they get their offspring inside fish? By using lures that perfectly mimic the appearance and movement of bass’ favorite prey of course. When bass mistake the mussels’ ingenious lure for a small fish, they attack. But instead of getting a tasty minnow or darter dinner, the get a squirt of mussel babies into their hungry mouths. The young mussels, called glochidia, quickly snap shut on the fish’s gills, where they stay and feed on blood until they are big enough to fall off and begin living as adults.

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