Guides > The Joseph Britton Freshwater Mussel Collection User Guide > Physical Features of Freshwater Mussels
Physical Features of Freshwater Mussels
This section provides examples of the physical features of mussel shells that are described in the specimen records. The physical description of each specimen in the collection includes information about the Number of Valves, Shell Shape, Shell Thickness, Beak Sculpturing, Internal and External Coloring, External Sculpturing, Shell Length, and Shell Condition. To provide context for these concepts the following illustrations are provided with links to collection objects.
Exterior Shell Features
Interior Shell Features
The Great Plains Nature Center presents an explanation of these and other physical features. Visit their Anatomy of Unionid Mussels page.
Physical Features in the Joseph Britton Mussel Collection
The following section illustrates some of the physical attributes described for specimens in the collection. Included are the values used in the collection to describe the Shell Shape, Internal Coloring, and External Coloring. These values are linked to specimens in the collection that exhibit these attributes.