About Oysters

The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified. Some kinds of oyster are commonly consumed, cooked or raw, by humans as a delicacy. Other kinds such as pearl oysters, generally not eaten by humans, are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle. First attested in English 17th century, the word oyster comes from Old French oistre, in turn from Latin ostrea, the feminine form of ostreum, which is the latinisation of the Greek (ostreon), 'oyster'. Compare (osteon), 'bone'. True oysters are members of the family Ostreidae. This family includes the edible oysters, which mainly belong to the genera Ostrea, Crassostrea, Ostreola and Saccostrea. Examples include the Belon oyster, Eastern oyster, Olympia oyster, Pacific oyster, and the Sydney rock oyster, Almost all shell-bearing mollusks can secrete pearls, yet most are not very valuable.

Contributions by Mangoe, David.Monniaux, and Tom harrison.

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