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Washboard (Megalonaias nervosa)

The Washboard (Megalonaias nervosa) is one of the largest freshwater mussels in North America, with a thick shell that reaches lengths of up to 28 cm (11 inches). In the early 1900s it was the most prized species for making shell buttons, as it produced as many as 30 or more high-quality button blanks per valve. The washboard remains a preferred species for producing cultured pearls, although it is currently unlawful to harvest the species commercially in the Illinois or Mississippi rivers because of decreased populations. (Conservation Status: Currently Stable)
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