True siphons and or tubes for water intake and release are not common characteristics among the North American freshwater mussels but are present in other species on other continents.  The top siphon allows for food, nutrients, and water to enter the body; and (in the case of females) allows the sperm to enter the body. The bottom siphon allows for the excretion of waste materials along with water and glochidia from the female's body.

Return to the Anatomy of a Bivalve

Return to the Mussel Characteristics

Return to the Feeding Page

Return to the Introduction of the Freshwater mussels

Return to the Biology Home Page

Return to the Marietta College Home Page