Oysters is along with squids and octopuses is are an ancient delicacy. They live short lives along the floor of the ocean throughout the world. Take this quiz and learn more about this interesting sea creature.
Oysters are distant relatives to scallops and mussels. Oysters are considered a edible bivalve mollusk.
Oysters live at the bottom of the ocean in hard-surface areas, either in deep or shallow water.
Oysters are an ancient delicacy. Humans have been eating oysters since prehistory times and oysters have been cultivated for more than 2,000 years.
During their reproductive season, from May to August, oysters have thin shells and lose some of their taste.
Oyster shells typically have a gray or white texture. Some oyster shells have purple or red markings.
Oyster shells are primarily made out of calcium carbonate, similar to limestone.
When the abductor muscle contracts, the two pieces of the oyster shell close. When the abductor muscle relaxes, the shell opens up.
An oyster's gills are found under the mantle. The gills are used for collecting food and breathing.
An oyster doesn't have a head or a brain. Instead, it has two nerve centers that control the mouth, mantle and internal organs.
Marine snails make holes in the oyster's shell to gain access to the nutritious contents.
Overfishing and water pollution has partially destroyed the ocean floor where oysters make their home, also known as oyster beds.
Oysters eat plankton and organic debris by creating a current in the water. Water enters the oyster's gills and food particles are caught.
Oysters are known as alternating hermaphrodites, as they can change sex several times in their lifetime. Oysters reproduce by releasing sperm or eggs into the water.
Oysters only become large enough for harvesting after three to five years of life.
Crassostrea oysters have deep-cupped shells and include: the American Atlantic coast oyster, the Portuguese oyster and the Japanese oyster.
Each ring on an oyster indicates one year of growth.
An oyster doesn't shed its shell. Instead, the shell grows with the oyster's body at about one inch (2.5 cm) per year.
Oysters are cultivated all over the world, including: the Atlantic waters of the Americas and Europe; the Pacific waters of the Americas, Australia, and Asia; and along the eastern coast of Africa.
After the oyster is harvested, the oyster may be shucked before packaging and selling. This involves removing one side of the shell with a special knife.
Canned oysters are steamed and packed in sterilized cans.