10 Interesting Oyster Facts


Oyster is a name given to a number of different families of salt-water bivalve mollusks that live in marine or brackish habitats. It is a sessile mollusk and as of now, 150 species of oyster are known to humans that can be seen in the different marine waters around the world. It thrives in the shallow, temperate waters on the rocky shores. It is believed that the Oyster exist on the planet for the last 180 million years, however, in many areas the population is increased drastically because of pollution of the sea and over-collecting from the wild. Here is a list of some of the interesting oyster facts,

Also Read: 10 Interesting Cormorant Facts

Oyster live
Oyster live

Image Source: Farrukh

Oysters Facts

  • Oysters can reach between 3 to 14 inches in length and the average weight is between 1.7 to 7 ounces. There are many species of oysters where valves are highly calcified and hence they are somewhat irregular in shape.
  • The appearance of oysters is rough and extremely hard along with an oval or pear-shaped shell that helps them to protect the soft, grey, and slimy body hidden inside. The shell of the Oyster is made of calcium, so it is whitish-grey in color from the inside.
  • The heart if an Oyster has three chambers and the blood is colorless. It breathes with the help of gills and excretes waste products via pair of kidneys. They have a very strong adductor muscle that keeps the shell closed.
  • All 150 species of oysters can be divided into four groups such as true oysters, pearl oysters, thorny oysters, and saddle oysters. True oysters are part of the human diet, pearl oysters are those that produce pearls, thorny oysters are those with thorny shells and saddle oysters are those with very thin shells.
  • The pearl oysters produce pearls with the help of small grains of sand or some other irritant trapped in the shell. The process is followed repeatedly to cover the grain of sand with a mixture of calcium and protein such as nacre until a prominent, white, yellow, rose, or black-color pearl is created. The total timestamp for the whole process is between  3 to 6 years.
  • Oysters are filter feeders which means water constantly circulates through the shells and brings nutrients such as plankton that ultimately get trapped in the gills. The species is a part of the human diet for thousands of years where they can be consumed in both forms raw and cooked. The taste of Oyster is salty and pleasant and it is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.  Oysters are overtly cultivated in artificial ponds known as oyster farms to maintain constant supply and quality.
  • It is said that Edible oysters are harmful to human health wherever they are cultivated from polluted areas because they can very easily accumulate toxins in the human body. The natural enemies of oysters include different kinds of fish, marine mammals, birds, and sea turtles.
  • The true Oyster has always been seen in colonies such as oyster reefs or beds. They love to breed during warm periods of the year. The avarage lifespan of oysters is between 1 to 3 years.
  • Almost all the species of oysters are hermaphrodites, however, there are few that are either male or female reproductive organs. There are some species of Oysters that can change gender also.
  • The female species of oysters will produce upto million eggs per season and release them into the water. After 6 hours of fertilization, the free-swimming larvae emerge from their eggs. The free swimming stage lasts for 2 to 3 weeks and after that, it will transform into adulthood and attach itself to the substrate where they will spend the rest of their life.

These are interesting Oyster facts. Kindly share and do post your comments.

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