Mussel’s beard is the light-brown hairy growth on mussels or tidal rocks and seaweeds. It is a colonial organism known as a hydroid, made up of chains of tiny polyps. Some people confuse mussel’s beard with the threads (byssus threads) that attach mussels to rocks. These threads are darker, feel like plastic, and grow from the interior of the mussel.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith
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