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Expansion attempts[edit]

I am working on expanding the article a bit, but any help with taxonomy and fact-checking would be welcome. This is a work in progress. --DanielCD 19:05, 26 May 2005 (UTC)


I reverted vandalism by which has been around for a while, even though a few good edits have been made. Please watch out over this article a little more. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Michiel Sikma (talk • contribs) .

The page is wrong again. I think we should lock it or something like that. Alex.angelov (talk) 20:12, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


Please explain why mussels must be alive before cooking. Also, many mussel recipes say to discard open mussels before cooking, and also discard "closed" mussels after cooking. I would like to know why. Is it due to bacteria?

thanks The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

The closed/open test is a simple way to identify dead mussels. These must be discarded. Each is a little Pandor'a Box of putrescence: do not eat, do not peek inside. —Ryanrs 02:57, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I've read on "World Famous Pikes Place Fish Market" website that the easiest way to test if an open mussle is dead or not is to place it in your hand tightly and see if it closes sensing the hand's heat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Payam81 (talkcontribs)

likewise, I've heard that open is not _necessarily_ bad, as long as they react to being forcefully pinched closed by closing themselves up tight promptly... definately O.R. but hey, this is a talk page.. --Kvuo 04:40, 23 August 2006 (UTC)


What is the difference between a clam and a mussel? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

From the clam article: "While the term "clam" has no taxonomic significance in biology, in general use, the term clam refers to a bivalve (a mollusk whose body is protected by two symmetrical shells) that is not an oyster, mussel, or a scallop, and that has a more-or-less oval shape, or alternately, to a freshwater mussel..." --DanielCD 03:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

As clams and mussels are taxonomically the same, combining these two articles would save biologists a great deal of trouble from foodies who have the incorrect (and typically indefinite) assumption that they are different groups of organisms. (talk) 13:33, 5 January 2011 (UTC) Agreed. (talk) 15:54, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

"Clam" as commonly used refers to those bivalves which live buried in substrate, but by extension, sometimes other bivalves as well. A large variety of bivalves have that lifestyle and should be referred to as "clams". "Mussel" generally refers to bivalves that live attached to surfaces by means of byssal threads, and belong to a single family mytilidae. The family also includes the related "date mussels" that bore into rock. By long tradition, the large pearly freshwater bivalves are also called mussels, even though they would probably be called "clams" if they lived at the ocean shore, since they live partly or completely buried in sand and gravel, and do not attach themselves with byssal threads. The smaller freshwater bivalves (Pill clams, fingernail clams, and Corbicula) are occasionally referred to as mussels as well. Martino3 (talk) 04:32, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

My partner and I are working on a school project about mussels industry in the UK from business perspective (industry structure, competition, markets, value chain, profitability, etc.). Does anybody know of a good source for primary data for that? We would then try to expand this article bringing some insights from business perspective.

Vegans and Mussels[edit]

There is a popular myth that Vegans can eat mussels because they lack nervous systems. Is this true? If someone can say for certain perhaps it should go on the page Thefuguestate 17:57, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

It's not true, they're of the kingdom Animalia and therefore animals. Likewise vegetarians do not eat them either.

I was wondering, what zone do the mussels live in?

Pick your own[edit]

Is it generally safe to pick and eat mussels. If yes then where and when are the best times? Talskiddy —Preceding unsigned comment added by Talskiddy (talkcontribs) 15:57, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

You certainly can eat wild mussels - but remember that they are filter feeders, so make sure they are harvested from clean shores well away from eg. raw sewage outfalls. River Cottage have a forum on their website where people can ask and answer questions about wild food - maybe you can get some good tips there. You could also look at books by eg. Ray Mears, who is very into the wild harvest. DuncanHill (talk) 11:42, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I won't pick mussels and eat them if you're not shure there are no harmfull algal blooms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:15, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Amusingly (?) my local chi-chi market told me mussels are "safe" because they aren't bottom feeders, they filter. Piano non troppo (talk) 00:30, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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Not easy to find definitive RS for this (M-W and other dictionaries note "unattributed" for some of the history), but would be nice to cover etymology of "mussel"; in particular, I was drawn here by the Muscle Shoals, Alabama article which notes that the name of that city may have been established before the current spelling for the bivalve was established. — soupvector (talk) 06:05, 3 January 2018 (UTC)