Letter | Published:

The Resting Position of Oysters

Abstract

IN carrying out a series of experiments on the artificial breeding of oysters in my private aquaria, I noticed that the young oysters born in the tanks rested on the flatter shell when they obtained a flat surface, such as a tile, to adhere to, but when I so arranged that they had irregular surfaces to deal with, such as little bundles of twigs, some adhered one way, and some the other. But where young oysters, nearly two years old, were moved from their original supports, and were compelled to find new ones, they selected the flat shell to rest upon in every instance, except where they were placed on sand, in which case they rested on the convex shell, in order apparently to avoid clogging the mouth of the shell with sand. Is it not possible from these observations that adult oysters vary their position according to the nature of the ground they are on. I have seen adult oysters on muddy ground lying on the convex shell, while where adhesion to a flat surface could be obtained, they were all on the flat shell, and pectens are dredged with Balari and other growths on the flat shell in some instances, and on the convex shell in others, principally, however, on the latter.

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