Mytilus (genus)

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Temporal range: Jurassic–Recent
Mytilus edulis in the intertidal zone in Cornwall, England
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Pteriomorphia
Order: Mytiloida
Family: Mytilidae
Genus: Mytilus
Linnaeus, 1798
Mytilus mussel in California, showing the byssus threads

Mytilus is a common genus of medium to large-sized marine mussels. They are bivalve molluscs of the family Mytilidae.[1] Mussels are edible, and are used in various stews and soups. In life, they are attached to the substrate (rocks etc) by byssus threads.

Species[change | change source]

Species within the genus Mytilus include:

Human use[change | change source]

Mytilus mussels are widely used as food. In California they were eaten by coastal Native American people for almost 12,000 years. [2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Powell A.W.B. 1979. New Zealand Mollusca, Collins, Auckland. ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  2. Erlandson, Jon M. et al 2008. Human impacts on ancient shellfish: a 10,000 year record from San Miguel Island, California. Journal of Archaeological Science. 35:2144-2152.
Mytilus edulis shells on the beach