The Freshwater Drum has modified pharyngeal teeth for crushing shells. This makes the Drum an excellent candidate as a predator for zebra mussels. Zebra mussels are an invasive species introduced from Russia with no true predators in North American waters.  To learn more about Zebra mussels Click here. The drum is classified as a true molluscivorous fish, a fish with modified pharyngeal teeth, as is the lake sturgeon another predator of zebra mussels. To learn more about the Lake Sturgeon Click here.

The above pictures show an overhead view and side view of the drum's pharyngeal teeth.  To learn more about the drum's diet and nutrition click here.

Visit the following link to read about the Zebra Mussel Research Program conducted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This fascinating study has figures, diagrams, and all the information you will ever need to know about Zebra mussel and Freshwater Drum Interactions! Click here

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