Story: Corals, anemones and jellyfish

Mussel's beard

Mussel's beard

Mussel’s beard is the light-brown hairy growth on mussels or tidal rocks and seaweeds. It is a colonial organism known as a hydroid, made up of chains of tiny polyps. Some people confuse mussel’s beard with the threads (byssus threads) that attach mussels to rocks. These threads are darker, feel like plastic, and grow from the interior of the mussel.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith

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How to cite this page:

Dennis Gordon, 'Corals, anemones and jellyfish - Hydroids and siphonophores', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/4735/mussels-beard (accessed 17 September 2021)

Story by Dennis Gordon, published 12 Jun 2006, updated 26 Sep 2016