..for a couple of days at least and not for any good reason but …here is what I learned today.
Some species of oysters have separate sexes, but their reproductive organs contain both sperm and eggs. They are able to change sex from year to year. Some oysters are hermaphrodites and theoretically can fertilize their own eggs. When food is abundant, females are prevalent, but when food is scarce, there are more males. Spawning is temperature-dependent, and occurs at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Females release millions of eggs at a time.
When an oyster larva is ready to settle, it grows a foot and finds a place to establish itself. Usually this is an adult oyster shell that is part of an oyster bed, but it might also be broken oyster or clam shells. The young oyster, known as a spat, cements itself to the new surface and slowly metamorphoses into an adult oyster. Oyster beds sometimes form reefs that create complex ecologies, stabilizing bottom sediment, creating breakwaters for shorelines, filtering and cleaning water and creating habitats for a great variety of marine wildlife, including barnacles, sea anemones, worms, crabs and an abundance of fish.
And the niggling question that would not let go? How do oysters procreate?