oyster


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Related to oyster: oyster stew, Oyster pearl

oyster,

bivalvebivalve,
aquatic mollusk of the class Pelecypoda ("hatchet-foot") or Bivalvia, with a laterally compressed body and a shell consisting of two valves, or movable pieces, hinged by an elastic ligament.
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 mollusk found in beds in shallow, warm waters of all oceans. The shell is made up of two valves, the upper one flat and the lower convex, with variable outlines and a rough outer surface. Since the wild oyster spends most of its life (except for the free-swimming larval stage) attached—having fused its valve with a sticky substance to a substratum of shells, rocks, or roots—the foot is rudimentary.

In some species the sexes are separate and the eggs are laid and fertilized in the water; in others the animal is hermaphroditic and the eggs are retained with the shell. Only a small proportion of the millions of eggs laid survive. Large numbers of the free-swimming larvae, called veligers, are consumed by fish and other animals. After the oyster becomes sessile, it may be victimized by oyster drills, starfish, and other enemies.

Edible oysters belong to the family Ostreidae, the true oysters. The eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, reaches a length of 4 to 6 in. (10–15 cm). These oysters are harvested in artificial beds on both coasts of the United States: on the Atlantic especially in the regions of the Delaware and Chesapeake bays and in the waters off Long Island, in the Gulf Coast off Louisiana, and in the Pacific off the state of Washington. Prepared beds are usually seeded with veligers or young sessile oysters called spats. In warm waters they mature in 1 1-2 years; in cooler waters the period of growth is about 4 to 5 years. They are usually transplanted several times before harvest to enhance their food supply and stimulate growth. Oysters are also farmed in mesh cages, trays, and bags (which may have floats incorporated), on ropes to which they have been attached, or in special tanks. The Pacific oyster, C. gigas, native to the coast of Asia and farmed there, also is farmed in the U.S. Northwest, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. The edible oysters of the genus Ostrea, such as the Belon and Olympia oysters, are less significant commercially than they once were, due to overharvesting and disease.

The wing and the pearl oysters, of the family Pteriidae, are widespread in warmer seas; there is one eastern and one western species of each in American waters. The great pearl oyster, from which the pearlpearl,
hard, rounded secretion formed inside the shell of certain mollusks, used as a gem. It is secreted by the epithelial cells of the mantle, a curtain of tissue between the shell and body mass, and is deposited in successive layers around an irritating object—usually a
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 is obtained, is a large (12-in./30.5-cm) tropical species. The familiar jingle shells, delicate, shiny orange or yellow shells common on beaches, belong to the same order as the oyster.

Oysters are classified in the phylum MolluscaMollusca
, taxonomic name for the one of the largest phyla of invertebrate animals (Arthropoda is the largest) comprising more than 50,000 living mollusk species and about 35,000 fossil species dating back to the Cambrian period.
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, class Pelecypoda or Bivalvia.

What does it mean when you dream about an oyster?

Symbolizing pearls of beauty, wealth, or wisdom, the oyster can also symbolize sexual arousal. In a dream the oyster may represent something of great value to be “shucked” in one’s waking hours.

oyster

[′ȯi·stər]
(invertebrate zoology)
Any of various bivalve mollusks of the family Ostreidae; the irregular shell is closed by a single adductor muscle, the foot is small or absent, and there is no siphon.

oyster

1. 
a. any edible marine bivalve mollusc of the genus Ostrea, having a rough irregularly shaped shell and occurring on the sea bed, mostly in coastal waters
b. (as modifier): oyster farm
2. any of various similar and related molluscs, such as the pearl oyster and the saddle oyster (Anomia ephippium)

Oyster

(dreams)
An oyster in your dream may have sexual connotations. It usually represents the female sex organ or, if eaten by a man, may represent his ability or desire to perform well sexually. Oysters are also considered symbols of humility and wisdom. Their meaning is associated with that of pearls. The most negative interpretation is that the oyster represents a well-guarded individual; a person who has shut himself off from others. Attempt to connect some of these ideas to your emotional life and overall experiences and keep in mind the setting, context, and outcome of the dream.
References in classic literature ?
The beasts--however, it is simply absurd to suppose he did not know any more than to feed the beasts on oyster suppers.
Charley and I knew nothing of the oyster industry, while his head was an encyclopaedia of facts concerning it.
Our faces were unfamiliar on the Lower Bay, but as the Reindeer was well known as a fish-patrol sloop, the Greek boy, whose name was Nicholas, and I were to sail some innocent-looking craft down to Asparagus Island and join the oyster pirates' fleet.
But the Queen of the Oyster Pirates was looking at me, a part-emptied glass in her own hand.
When they adhere to the shell, the fishermen often pull them off with pincers; but the most common way is to lay the oysters on mats of the seaweed which covers the banks.
But the greatest miracle of the night was little Jacob, who ate oysters as if he had been born and bred to the business--sprinkled the pepper and the vinegar with a discretion beyond his years--and afterwards built a grotto on the table with the shells.
Jane, on being cross-questioned, refused to commit herself beyond the statement that it depended upon the gentleman, and also upon the oysters.
Very well, then, give us that brand with the oysters, and then we'll see.
A moment later he stepped briskly from his dressing-room, and observed that if she wanted to buy more oysters he thought he knew where they could find a fishmonger's shop still open.
Gaynsforth answered,--"some oysters, a chicken en casserole, lettuce salad, some cheese, and a magnum of Pommery.
Pickwick was busily engaged in counting the barrels of oysters and superintending the disinterment of the cod-fish, when he felt himself gently pulled by the skirts of the coat.
This refection of oysters was not presided over by Affery, but by the girl who had appeared when the bell was rung; the same who had been in the dimly-lighted room last night.