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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


Mussel Exterior

Interior Shell Features


Mussel Interior

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.

Shell Shape

Elliptical

Elliptical

Oval

Oval

Quadrate

Quadrate

Rhomboidal

Rhomboidal

Round

Round

Triangular

Triangular

Exterior Color

Reddish-Brown

Reddish-Brown

Black

Black

Dark Brown

Dark Brown

Tan

Tan

Brown

Brown

Olive

Olive

Green

Green

Off-White

Off-White

Orange

Orange

Interior Color

Bluish-White

Bluish-White

Purplish-White

Purplish-White

Purple

Purple

Pink

Pink

White

White

Salmon

Salmon

Blue

Blue

Yellow

Yellow