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An oyster can filter up to 5 L (1.3 US gal) of water per hour.
Over the years, the irritating object is covered with enough layers of nacre to become a pearl.
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.
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.
As a keystone species, oysters provide habitat for many marine species.