Ribbed Mussels

The Atlantic ribbed mussel, Geukensia demissa, at low tide at Calvert Vaux Park. Unlike the more famous (because delicious) blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, the ribbed mussel, which is found up and down the East Coast, prefers brackish waters. They are a keystone species for salt marsh habitat and vital to Jamaica Bay. Establishing beds within the roots of cordgrass like Spartina, the clumps of mussels help to stabilize the plants while providing nutrients for them. They are also food for gulls and I assume other shore birds like oystercatchers. One source notes that while they are edible for humans, they have an unpleasant taste — which I would have thought was a good definition of inedible.
Any port in a storm.

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