Oysters in Law

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THE European oyster, or flat oyster, Ostrea edulis, Linn., occurs in many places off the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Europe. In all these localities this oyster in the warmer periods of the year reproduces its kind by extruding eggs from the body; but it retains and incubates these eggs within its shell-spaces until the resulting larvæ have developed organs which permit an independent free-swimming life. The incubation of eggs to the larval stage is thus a common character of English, Irish, Scotch, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, French, and Italian flat oysters. At present all these flat larviparous oysters are regarded as belonging to one species, namely, Ostrea edulis, Linn., except for certain oysters occurring in the Adriatic Sea,1 albeit a large number of varieties have been given special names.2

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  1. 1

    Faber, "Fisheries of the Adriatic", 1883.

  2. 2

    Bell, Essex Naturalist, 19, 1921.

  3. 3

    Fisheries Act ( Oysters, Crabs, and Lobsters ), 1877 (40 and 41 Vict. c. 42).

  4. 4

    Orton, J. Mar. Biol. Assoc., 15, 417; 1928.

  5. 5

    Spärck, Report Dan. Biol. Stat., 35, 1929.

  6. 6

    Fisheries Expt. Station, Conway, Annual Reports.

  7. 7

    Rep. Select Comm. on Sea Fisheries, 383; 1893.

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ORTON, J. Oysters in Law. Nature 129, 96 (1932) doi:10.1038/129096a0

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