Musseling in on Cilia

Thursday, November 26, 2015 - By: Mr. David McCarthy

Few schools allow a biology teacher to harvest fresh mussels 10 minutes before a class so that students can observe their living infrastructure. Here, in a microscope view, can be seen waves of moving cilia that power the animals’ feeding and breathing systems. 

This feeding method makes the shellfish particularly likely to bioaccumulate toxins, more commonly known as "Red Tide",  that might be present when plankton blooms occur. Future experiments are planned to try to identify these chemically and to link their presence to ocean conditions. 

Mr. David McCarthy

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