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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Oyster (animal)

MOLLUSC

Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs with rough, thick shells.


HISTORY

The saying "the world's your oyster" comes from Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor when Pistol says: "The world's mine oyster. Which I with sword will open."

In 1808 a UK law was passed making theft of oysters punishable by transportation or prison.

The verb 'to shuck', meaning to remove the shell from an oyster, was first recorded in 1881.

The Oyster card is a form of electronic ticketing used on public transport in Greater London. It was launched in June 2003 and its name was meant to signify security, the link with the River Thames and recall the phrase, “The world is your oyster”.

ANATOMY AND BEHAVIOR

A group of oysters is commonly called a bed or oyster reef. An oyster reef can increase the surface area of a flat bottom 50-fold.

Oyster reef at about mid-tide off fishing pier at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina

A baby oyster is called a spat.

Oysters are "alternating hermaphrodites", which means they can switch sexes from time to time. They change sex up to four times a year.

Only about one in 10,000 oysters contains a pearl.

Removing a pearl from a pearl oyster. By Keith Pomakis -  Wikipedia

In 2005, research supported the view that oysters may have an aphrodisiac quality. Analysis showed that they contain rare amino acids that have been linked to reproductive success. Levels of these amino acids are highest in spring, when the oysters are breeding.

Oysters are good for the environment: they each filter between 30 and 50 gallons of water a day.

Source Daily Express

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