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Test your knowledge: Marine Life Quiz

Answers can be found further below the quiz questions


1) Are the sand granules larger higher on the beach?

2) Sea bamboo: The largest of local kelp. Are the leaves edible and nutritious?

3) Black mussels: How do they differ from the similar looking Mediterranean mussels?

4) How can you use your binocular to see finer detail in mussels?

5) Why are mussel females naturally (i.e., no make-up required) more attractive than males (some might argue this is the exception in nature)?

6) What makes mussels deadly to crabs and people?

7) Can we use the mussel poison beneficially?

8) How can you tell white mussels apart from the remarkably similar looking Corrugated Venus?

9) Which one is which on the photo below?

10) Name three diagnostic characteristics of white mussel poisoning?




1) To find out and demonstrate to impress your audience) where the large pebbles accumulate: mix A small (sea sand) and B larger (e.g., river sand) ones in a bottle C; shake, and notice which ones go to the top D.

2) Yes, the leaves are edible, nutritious and are an excellent source of vitamins such as A, B1, B12, C, D, E and 5 more. It is also an excellent fertilizer for your garden. There are many recipes available on how to prepare it and you will see many people eat it on survival TV programs.

3) Black mussels differ from the similar looking Mediterranean mussels by a) having a narrower cross section at its base, b) no pits in the white band alongside the hinge ligament on the inner surface of the shell, and c) the females are dark chocolate brown. The latter species is alien
(not endemic; introduced from Europe); the dominant west coast mussel farmed commercially; females are orange and Oystercatcher breeding success has improved since its arrival (they feed on it).

4) Turn your binocular around and look though it to see finer detail (e.g., the pits in the white band alongside the hinge ligament mentioned above).

5) Mussel females are brightly coloured as mentioned above whereas males are pale yellow/off- white. Next time when you eat them in your restaurant, impress your waiter by pointing it out.

6) They can contain a potent neurotoxin (from algal blooms) which was used by the military as a chemical weapon. The larvae of Mediterranean mussels settle on the eyestalks of three-spot swimming crabs (see photo below), causing mass mortalities. However, three-spot swimming crabs are aggressive predators on mussels.

7) One can use the poison beneficially by diluting it at least 200 times and injecting it, like Botox (used to smooth wrinkles and treat cross-eyes temporarily). Do not try this at home!

8) White mussels: the shell is wedge shaped, smooth, and the inside is tinged purple. Corrugated Venus is elongate, oval, with concentric growth ridges, and the inside is white.

9) Top one is the White and bottom one the Corrugated one on the photo. They are both very common here. White mussels are excellent bait and delicious to eat.

10) See 8) above for three diagnostic characteristics.

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