Mussel (& Barnacle) Dissection || Of the Crow-Blue Mussel Shells
What lies inside a mussel’s shell? How do mussels keep their shells shut? Find out as you learn how to dissect a mussel in this video, which also covers its external and internal anatomy and physiology. In this simple dissection of a mussel, you’ll learn various parts of its anatomy, what exactly a “mother of pearl” is, and how mussels attach themselves to rocks.
Mussels are a species of bivalves that are often overlooked due to their simplistic external appearance and relative abundance. However, did you know that mussels can filter up to 15 gallons of water a day, or that freshwater mussels are the most endangered group of organisms in North America? In this video, you’ll learn general information about mussels (& barnacles!), which will be tied into their anatomical structures and physiological importance.
This dissection lab is for anyone who is curious about mussel anatomy, wants to cover mussel anatomy for a zoology course, missed the mussel dissection during biology class, or just wondered, “what more is there to a mussel than two shells and a fleshy interior?” The video will teach you how to dissect a mussel (& barnacle) step by step, and review the external and internal anatomy of the mussel.
In this video, we’ll cover the following structures of a mussel:
Shells Labial palps
Growth rings Foot
Posterior adductor muscle Visceral mass
Anterior adductor muscle Gonads
Mantle Digestive gland
Nacreous layer Intestine
In this video, we’ll cover the following structures of a barnacle:
Cirri (feeding legs) Intestine
If you want to learn more about mussel anatomy, here’s a link to a website with more detailed information, as well as diagrams:
If you have any questions regarding mussel anatomy, dissection methodology, or general biology, feel free to leave a comment. We'll try our best to reply.