Both marine and freshwater mussels are filter feeders; they feed on plankton and other microscopic animals which are free-floating in seawater. A mussel draws water in through its incurrent siphon and an oyster for example can filter up to 1.3 gallon of water per hour.




















In marine mussels, fertilization occurs outside the body, with a larval stage that drifts for three weeks to six months, before settling on a hard surface as a young mussel. There, it is capable of moving slowly by means of attaching and detaching byssal threads to attain a better life position.