Zebra mussels get their name from a striped pattern which is commonly seen on their shells, though it is not universally present. They are usually about the size of a fingernail, but can grow to a maximum length of nearly two inches. The shells of the Zebra Mussel are D-shaped.
Zebra mussels are filter-feeding organisms, They remove particles from sediments on lake bottoms. The zebra mussels process up to one gallon of water...
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...d when transoceanic ships drop anchor in freshwater ports. They have become an invasive species in North America, and as such they are the target of Federal policy to control them, for instance in the National Invasive Species Act (1996).
A common inference made by scientists predicts that the zebra mussel will continue spreading passively, by ship and by pleasure craft, to more rivers in North America. Trailered boat traffic is the most likely cause for invasion into North America. This spread can be preventable if boaters thoroughly clean and dry their boats and associated equipment before transporting them to new bodies of water. Since no North American predator or combination of predators has been shown to significantly reduce zebra mussel numbers, such spread would most likely result in permanent establishment of zebra mussels in many North American waterways.
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