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A ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) at the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay, ME.

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A ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) at the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay, ME.

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A northern horse mussel (Modiolus modiolus) at the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay, ME.

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A northern horse mussel (Modiolus modiolus) at the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay, ME.

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Smooth pimpleback (Cyclonaias houstonensis) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Smooth pimpleback (Cyclonaias houstonensis) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Texas fatmucket (Lampsilis bracteata) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Texas fatmucket (Lampsilis bracteata) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Texas pimpleback mussel (Cyclonaias petrina) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Texas pimpleback mussel (Cyclonaias petrina) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Texas fawnsfoot (Truncilla macrodon) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Texas fawnsfoot (Truncilla macrodon) from the Crustacean and Molluskan Ecology Lab at Auburn University.

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Shell of a dead freshwater mussel (Anodonta sp.) at Fluviário in Mora, Portugal.

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Shell of a dead freshwater mussel (Anodonta sp.) at Fluviário in Mora, Portugal.

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California Mussel (Mytilus californianus) at the University of California, Davis.

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California Mussel (Mytilus californianus) at the University of California, Davis.

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California Mussel (Mytilus californianus) at the University of California, Davis.

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California floater (Anodonta californiensis) at the Conservation Dept. of the Phoenix Zoo.

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California floater (Anodonta californiensis) at the Conservation Dept. of the Phoenix Zoo.

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Flat spike mussel (Elliptio jayensis) at Welaka National Fish Hatchery Aquarium.

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Flat spike mussel (Elliptio jayensis) at Welaka National Fish Hatchery Aquarium.

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Mussel biologist Steve Ahlstedt shows off coal fines, the sediments from Virginia’s coal mines that wash into the rivers of Tennessee. It is thought that coal fines and the use of heavy industrial chemicals to clean coal in Viriginia are both major factors in the disappearance of rare Mussels in the Clinch and Powell Rivers, two of the last places where many rare mussels were found.

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Federally listed endangered freshwater mussels taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. Shown is a finerayed pigtoe (Fusconaia cuneolus).The Clinch River has more federally listed aquatic species than any river in North America, yet is threatened by pollution and habitat loss. Coal mining in the watershed now raises the threat even more.

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A federally endangered cracking pearly mussel (Hemistena lata) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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