|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Common Mussel Mytilus edulis|
The Common Mussel is the most common bivalve in Cornwall forming extensive beds on exposed rocky beaches. It is often the dominant species on beaches, as such it is used as a biological indicator for exposed rocky shores.
Often the beds are so overcrowded, that space for growth is restricted leading to stunted and distorted shells. Growth rates also vary depending on where the mussel is located. They can be in excess of 4 inches but are generally smaller. Higher up the shore the less the mussel is covered by the sea hence less time to feed leading to slower growth. Additionally in the beds, those on the outside grow faster however this benefit has to be weighed against heavier predation.
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