“Spitting Out Water Babies”

Photo by Tomasz Wilk.

When Tomasz Wilk settled to camp one evening on the banks of a Polish river, he didn’t expect to find fountains in the shallows. Though reminiscent of an archer fish’s shot, this stream comes from a freshwater mussel. In spring, the mature female thick-shelled river mussels head to the shallows, where they edge a bit of their shell out of the water and release this fountain of water and larvae. Once dispersed, the larvae will attach (harmlessly) to the gills of fish until they grow into a juvenile mussel. (Image credit: T Wilk; via Wildlife POTY)

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