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May 18, 2022

Today’s animal is the ever-changing oyster. 

After reading these fascinating oyster facts and attempting the trivia questions, you may think differently about how you eat oysters. 

Fascinating Facts About Oysters

  • Oysters change their sex: Yes, oysters change their gender during their lives. They start as males and usually end as females.
  • Their shape varies depending mainly on how many crowds are in the bed while they develop.
  • Pearls do not only come from oysters. Although oysters produce pearls, the shiny, pretty pearls of value are harvested from an inedible type of oyster and freshwater mussels.
  • Humans have eaten and cultivated oysters for thousands of years. Humans have eaten oysters since prehistoric times and cultivated them at least since the era of the Roman Empire.
  • They filter water through their gills and consume food in the process of filtering water. They can help balance the marine ecosystem by reducing excess sediment and algae that would otherwise result in hypoxia, or low oxygen levels, significantly affecting marine life.
  • Gulf oysters used to be referred to differently in various locations. Gulf oysters, Blue points, and Quonset points are all the same species of oysters, named after the specific locations from which they are harvested. Gulf oysters were also named after specific bays.
  • Most American oysters are of the same species. Oysters harvested from the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and off the coast of Virginia are of the same species. However, being from the same species does not mean that they taste the same.
  • Oysters have a variety of flavor profiles.  Oysters can have the following flavor characteristics: mild, sweet, metallic, buttery, and briny. Experts have broken down these flavors further to pick out flavors like melon, mushroom, and cucumber.
  • Oysters have various vitamins and nutrients, such as calcium, zinc, protein, vitamin A, selenium, and magnesium. Oysters also contain high iron, vitamin B12, and monounsaturated fat levels. The fat found in oysters is the “healthy” kind that you also get in olive oil.
  • Oysters do not have fun with acid, as acidic conditions can kill oyster larvae and make it hard for oysters to form shells.


  1. Jen Wilde

    I’ve loved oyster as far back as I can remember. Yet I never knew much about them. This article was enlightening and well written. Thank you.

  2. Oscar Sicola

    I’ve eaten oysters from the Gulf of Mexico my entire life.
    I didn’t know all the vitamins and nutrients they contained.


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