7/24/2013 6:39:57 AM
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Unlike barnacles, which cement themselves tightly to the surfaces of rocks, piers or ships, the clamlike bivalves called mussels dangle more loosely from these surfaces, attached by a collection of fine filaments known as byssus threads. This approach lets the creatures drift further out into the water, where they can absorb nutrients -- although in the process, it exposes them to the risk of being torn away by the force of crashing waves.
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