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Life of a River - Biology
Adaptations (pg 2 of 3)
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Many invertebrates have adaptations such as silk or tiny hooks to attach to rocks. Some, such as brushlegged mayflies, have streamlined shapes that allow them to maintain their positions in currents, or even "swim" short distances in the flow. Others have flattened body shapes to avoid the influence of a strong current. Crayfish seek shelter under the rocks to avoid the current but they feed in the riffles. Whirligig beetles and water striders prefer water that barely moves.

Most mussels, like the black sandshell and winged mapleleaf, live in stream reaches where the flowing water keeps fine sediment from accumulating. Others, such as the paper pondshell and flat floater, are better adapted to slower backwaters with soft bottoms. Shell shape in Wabash pigtoe and round pigtoe mussels is streamlined in smaller, faster-moving streams but is heavier and more inflated in larger, slow-flowing rivers. This adaptation helps them stay buried during floods and re-burrow more quickly if they get dislodged.

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Mayfly adaptations

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Beetle adaptations

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Introduction
Flow
Shape
Connections
Quality
Life
Description
Terrestrial plants
Terrestrial animals
Life cycles
Corridors
Refuges
Aquatic habitats
Adaptations
Continuum concept
Relationships
Consequences
Stories
Summary
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