Oyster is the category of a wide array of families of salt-water bivalve mollusks that live in marine or brackish habitats. Certain types of oysters are often cooked raw, and at some places, locales represent it as a delicacy.
Where do oysters come from?
Oysters are found in oceans or large water bodies in shallow waters and in colonies called beds or reefs. Basically, Oysters belong to the Ostreidae family and have eight main body parts; mouth, stomach, gills, intestines, abductor muscle, anus, and mantle.
Nature’s Gift- Pearls
Pearls are one of the most precious and valuable jewels in the world. If you are fond of necklaces and like precious stones and gems, you would definitely be a big-time lover of Pearl’s. (See Why do people love gold?)
Are there really pearls in Oysters?
Pearls are not grown on land or found on trees, but they are found in living sea creatures called an oyster. The round pearls formed inside an oyster result from the biological process carried out within their stomach that protects them from foreign substances.
It may even take years for an oyster to form a big, jewellery quality pearl. You don’t have to find pearls in every Oyster to find a pearl in a wild oyster, and you might need to crack thousands of oysters. Even if you find one, you may not find a good size pearl. Finding an appropriately sized pearl in a wild oyster is a rare discovery. If you have to find one in your life, you are lucky! (See Are Sea Anemones Plants or Animals?)
How a pearl is grown inside an Oyster
The mantle is an internal organ inside every Oyster that enables them to process minerals in their food intake. The processed food creates nacre, which makes up the Oyster’s shell. In case any foreign substance gets stuck in the Oyster’s mantle, a layer of nacre will be formed over the irritant. Subsequently, the layers keep on adding one after another until a pearl is built. Isn’t it stupendous?
Natural Pearls vs Cultured Pearls
The Pearls that are grown inside the oysters, after natural reaction and covering up the irritant, are known as Natural Pearls. Whereas, in some cases, pearl harvesters open oysters, cut small slits in their mantle, and insert tiny irritants under their mantle. The pearls created after practising this technique are called Cultured Pearls.
Is there any difference in the quality between natural pearls and cultured pearls?
There is no considerable difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls, but natural pearls are generally more expensive. It is only because they are rare, as they can only be created by a few spices of oysters.
What are baroque pearls?
The pearls are uneven in shape, not round. These less than perfect pearls are known as baroque pearls.
Does Every Oyster Have a Pearl?
What are the chances of finding a pearl in an oyster? How Do Oysters Make Pearls?