A short animation takes viewers into the river to see the life and times of a freshwater mussel trying to make it in the world. This film is featured in the Fairmount Water Work's landmark exhibition and living laboratory, The Mussel Hatchery.

“Mussels in the Wild” is a tale of a flowing river, where finned, furred, shelled, feathered and the invisible swim, hop, flutter, float and crawl in an ever-changing watery world. A freshwater momma mussel waits patiently for a special fish to give her babies a ride to their new riverbed homes, where each one can munch and nibble phytoplankton and diatoms from the river water. Each mussel can filter and clean up to twenty gallons of water every day of its hundred-year lifespan, but will the babies make the journey safely in their special fish?


This storybook is an extension of The Mussel Hatchery exhibition which opened in February 2017 at the Fairmount Water Works, made possible with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and Philadelphia Water.

Story by Victoria Prizzia

Illustrations by Magnopus

Book Graphic Design by Gecko Design Group

Mussels in the Wild is also adapted as a picture book! Find a copy in our shop