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The Zebra Mussel, Dreissena polymorpha is a small, striped bivalve about the size of a dime that is native to the Russian Caspian, Black, Aral and Azov seas. The Zebra mussel was first observed in North America in 1988 in Lake St. Clair followed by its cousin, the Quagga Mussel. They quickly infested the Great Lakes and used the Mississippi and St. Lawrence waterways to travel across the country. They are more than just a nuisance and represent a devastating impact on native species, a billion dollar fishing industry and human health. Here's how.
Teachers, this is a comprehensive lesson packet that focuses on Invasive Species, the freshwater ecosystem, bivalve anatomy and the freshwater food web. This packet includes a video assessment worksheet, word bank, detailed,Great Lakes Food Web diagram, diatom drawing activity, critical thinking essay, mussel anatomy diagram and answer key. This lesson is designed for middle and high school students in life, environmental and earth sciences as well as biology and general science classes in grades 6-10. This activity will consume at least 3-5 class periods and will open the door to a variety of related topics for future study and discussion.