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The largest pearl-bearing oyster is the marine Pinctada maxima, which is roughly the size of a dinner plate.
Not all individual oysters produce pearls naturally.
Some kinds of pearl oysters are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle.
Windowpane oysters are harvested for their translucent shells, which are used to make various kinds of decorative objects. This family includes the edible oysters, which mainly belong to the genera Ostrea, Crassostrea, Ostreola, Magallana, and Saccostrea.
Many, but not all, oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.
Some kinds of oysters are commonly consumed by humans, cooked or raw, and are regarded as a delicacy.
The gonads surround the digestive organs, and are made up of sex cells, branching tubules, and connective tissue.Many of these animals are prey to larger animals, including fish, such as striped bass, black drum and croakers.An oyster reef can increase the surface area of a flat bottom 50-fold. They are protandric; during their first year, they spawn as males by releasing sperm into the water.A small, three-chambered heart, lying under the adductor muscle, pumps colorless blood to all parts of the body.At the same time, two kidneys, located on the underside of the muscle, remove waste products from the blood.
Their nervous system includes two pairs of nerve cords and three pairs of ganglia.