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November 21, 2008

C ATSPAW
Mu
M US SEL
e n d a n g e r e d

PURPLE CAT’S PAW PEARLY MUSSEL, Why it’s endangered...
The Purple Cat’s Paw Pearly
Or Epioblasma obliquata. Mussel is endangered for a
The Purple Cat’s Paw Pearly Mussel, more commonly known as Catspaw, is a species of few key reasons. First, only 1
endangered freshwater mussel that originated in the Ohio River and its larger tributaries, namely of its 3 known species
those in Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Alabama, and of course Ohio. However, now it appears to be reproducing,
favors shallow waters and requires a swift current so it isn’t washed away by silt. It generally lives and they don’t reproduce
on the sandy bottom of it’s habitat or boulders. The Catspaw is of phyla Mollusca and class until there are about 5 years
Bivalvia. Bivalves are soft-bodied marine organisms that are protected and surrounded by two hard old. Zebra Mussels, an exotic
shells. There are approximately 32 species in its genus (Epioblasma), including the Sugarspoon, the species, are also disturbing
the Catspaw chances of
Oyster Mussel, the Wabash Riffleshell, the Acornshell, and the Snufflbox, to name a few.
recovery. The Zebra Mussels
Predators of the Catspaw, and other freshwater mussels, include otters, some ducks, geese, and
attach to the Catspaw and
raccoons. Obviously, the mussels are stationary, so they cannot run away from predators. In fact, suffocate it. Human
they have little defense from predators and natural hazards, which is probably the reason they disturbances and pesticides
developed their hard shells. The reproduction process begins by the male releasing sperm into the released in the water are also
current. It’s siphoned by the female and the eggs grow inside until the larvae hatch, at which point hurting this species. Although
they latch onto a host fish. When they grow shells they detach themselves from the fish. Obviously, the chances of recovery are
mating and reproducing requires the rare mixture of a slim, the goals are to get this
still environment that is also plentiful with fish. subspecies onto the
threatened species list rather
<ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mussel</ref> than the endangered,
<ref>http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/endangered/ granted that its changes of
extinction are eliminated. The
clams/purpl_fc.html</ref>
recovery plan includes higher
<ref>http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/
reproduction rates and
speciesIndex/Genus_Epioblasma_104267_1.htm</
reinstated habitats for the
ref> Purple Cat’s Paw.
<ref>http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/
commons/f/f0/Alasmidonta_raveneliana.jpg</ref>

Gabby Kaufman - Biology - Period 7 - Mrs. Wolfgang - Endangered Species