Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Table of Contents
Oyster is the common name given to several families of saltwater bivalve molluscs that thrive in marine or brackish waters. People either love them or hate them, but little do you know these tasty, slimy, and expensive bivalves offer a number of health benefits.
See the fact file below for more information on the oyster or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Oyster worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- True oysters. Members of the family Ostreidae, true oysters have been cultivated as food for more than two millennia and include the edible oysters, which are under the genera Ostrea, Crassostrea, Ostreola, Magallana, and Saccostrea. Some examples of this type include the European flat oyster, eastern oyster, Olympia oyster, Pacific oyster, and the Sydney rock oyster.
- Pearl oysters. Not closely associated with true oysters, pearl oysters are members of the family of feathered oysters (Pteriidae). Both cultured and natural pearls can be obtained from pearl oysters. The marine Pinctada maxima is considered the largest pearl-bearing oyster, said to be the size of a dinner plate.
- In nature, these oysters produce pearls by covering a small invasive object with a composite material called nacre. Different types, colors, and shapes of pearls rely on the natural pigment of nacre, and the shape of the original irritant.
- Different bivalve molluscs, aside from the true oysters and pearl oysters, have common names that include the term “oyster”, maybe because they either have the same taste or features like that of true oysters, or because they produce noticeable pearls. Some of these include (1) thorny oysters in the genus Spondylus, (2) Pilgrim oyster or scallop, (3) saddle oysters or jingle shells of the family Anomiidae, (4) Dimydarian oysters of the family Dimyidae, and (5) Windowpane oysters.
- Oysters are filter feeders, suctioning water over their gills through the beating of hair-like organelles called cilia. Suspended plankton and particles are stuck in the mucus of a gill, and are moved to the mouth, where they are eaten, digested, and excreted as feces or pseudofeces.
- Oysters eat at a lot at temperatures above 10 °C (50 °F).
- Aside from their gills, oysters can also swap gases across their mantles, which are walled with a number of tiny, thin-lined blood vessels. A small, three-chamber heart below the adductor muscle pumps colorless blood throughout their bodies. Two kidneys on the underside of the muscle get rid of waste products from the blood. Their nervous system has two pairs of nerve cords and three pairs of ganglia.
- While some species of oysters have two sexes, such as the European oyster and Olympia oyster, their sexual organs have both egg and sperm cells which causes these molluscs to fertilize their own eggs.
- After fertilization, females release millions of eggs into the water. The larvae develop after six hours and thrive in water columns as veliger larvae for 14 to 21 days before living on a bed and reaching sexual maturity within a year.
HABITAT AND BEHAVIOR
- An oyster reef expands the sea bottom’s surface area by 50-fold. Its mature shape often relies on the type of bottom to which it initially attached, but it always adjusts itself with its outer, flared shell tilted upward.
- As keystone species, oysters serve as homes for a number of marine species. Crassostrea and Saccostrea are found mostly in the intertidal region, while Ostrea is subtidal. The rough surfaces of oyster shells and the nooks between the shells supply spots where a group of small animals can live. Hundreds of sea creatures, such as sea anemones, barnacles, and hooked mussels, live in oyster reefs. Most of these species are eaten by larger animals, including fish such as striped bass, black drum, and croakers.
- They filter large amounts of water for eating and breathing, although they are not constantly open. They regularly shut their valves when they want to rest, and even when they are permanently underwater.
- Some tropical oysters, such as the mangrove oyster, survive on mangrove roots. Low tide can expose them, making them an easy catch.
- Since the Roman Empire, oysters have been bred and raised mainly for pearls. The Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas) is currently the most widely grown bivalve mollusc worldwide.
- Two methods are usually applied, namely release and bagging. In both circumstances, oysters are cultivated onshore when they can cling themselves to a substrate. There are cases when they can mature further to produce “seed oysters.”
- The release technique engages in distributing the spat through existing oyster beds, letting them mature naturally to be collected like wild oysters. Bagging, on the other hand, has the cultivator putting spat in racks or containers and holding them above the bottom. Harvesting is simply taking the racks to the surface and getting rid of mature oysters, preventing losses to some predators.
- Oysters can be eaten on the half shell, uncooked, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, or broiled, or used in a number of drinks.
- Eating oysters involves opening the shell and consuming its contents, including juice, although butter and salt are usually added.
- Oysters give a lot of health benefits; they are great sources of zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, vitamin A, and Vitamin B12.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the oyster across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Oyster worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the oyster which is the common name given to several families of saltwater bivalve molluscs that thrive in marine or brackish waters. People either love them or hate them, but little do you know these tasty, slimy, and expensive bivalves offer a number of health benefits.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Oyster Facts
- Tell Me About It
- Label an Oyster
- Test Yourself
- Jar of Facts
- Oysters and Clams
- What’s on the Plate?
- Oyster Species
- Oyster Relevance
- Shucking Poem
- How Pears are Made
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can an oyster live?
In their natural environment, oysters typically live for several years. However, with the right care and attention in captivity, these mollusks have been known to stay alive for up to two decades!
Do oysters have a gender?
Oysters begin their lives as males, yet many will transition to a female state after roughly one year. These mollusks possess the unique ability of hermaphroditism, meaning they produce both sperm and eggs simultaneously; thus allowing them to even fertilize their own egg cells!
Do oysters have blood?
Oysters are unique in that they have a three-chambered heart, allowing them to circulate colorless blood throughout their bodies.
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Oyster Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 26, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.