Friday, November 25, 2011

Pocketbook Mussels

Last week I had a great discussion with an environmental engineer, Craig Just at the University of Iowa, about the connections between art and science. One of the coolest things he showed me was his lab where he is currently researching freshwater mussels and their abilities to remove nitrates from the Iowa River. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to re-create some imagery here. The Pocketbook Mussel is a fascinating example of the mind-blowing complexity of the natural world. It has a symbiotic relationship with fish, which are lured in by the mussel (there is no fish in this image, that is part of the mussel) and act as hosts temporarily for the clam larvae. Scrubmuncher has a pretty good handle on the process, so I'll point you here. Thanks for the inspiring visit Craig!