All mussels are bivalve mollusks. You’ll find mussels both in fresh water and in the ocean. Marine mussels can grow to be up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) long. These mussels are distinguished by their shells, which are dark and either elongated or oval. Mussels also live in fresh water. These mussels can reach a length of 5 inches (13 centimeters). A freshwater mussel is characterized by the fleshy foot that grows out of its oval shell. You’ll find freshwater mussels in North America and Europe.
Finally, there’s the zebra mussel, which is native to Europe but has become quite a nuisance around the Mississippi River basin and Great Lakes. The problem is that these mussels, which can grow to be 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) long, clog up the pipes of water-treatment plants and factories.
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