Questions for “Common parasite may help mussels survive heat waves”

a lot of mussels attached to a rock

A common parasite that whitens the shells of mussels may actually help them survive heat waves, a new study suggests

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To accompany “Common parasite may help mussels survive heat waves


Before Reading:

1.  What is a parasite? Is having one generally a good thing or a bad thing?

2.  What are mussels and where do they live?

During Reading:

1.  What are cyanobacteria? In what way can their presence be bad for mussels?

2.  According to this story, what are robomussels? Do you think that is a good term, in this case? Explain your answer.

3.  What is an intertidal zone?

4.  During tests in coastal waters, how much warmer did the dark-shelled robomussels sometimes get at low tide compared to light-shelled robomussels?

5.  The researchers put robomussels at nine sites, but later used data from only three sites. Why?

6.  Katy Nicastro’s team tried to apply what it learned in its coastal tests to data on mussels that experienced French heat waves in 2018. What did the researchers conclude?

After Reading:

1.  Based on what you read in this story, were the cyanobacteria that infested mussels parasites, not parasites or both? Explain your answer.