Scientific Classification
Phylum: Mollusca

Mussels are animals that live in both saltwater (marine) and freshwater
environments. They are considered to be are bivalve mollusks, which means
they have soft bodies surrounded by two shells or “bi-valves; and they are
called mollusks because they're classified in the group “Mollusca” Mussels are
related to clams, oysters, snails and all other mollusks.

In the U. S., there are more than 300 species of freshwater mussel varieties.
They are highly diverse in color, size and life span. Depending on the species,
adults can live 10 years to more than 100 years. However, among these 300
species, there are mainly two kinds of freshwater mussels: burrowing mussels
that can produce pearls; and mussels that are generally called  "fingernail
clams" or "freshwater clams" which are not the same as true clams.
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