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Many of these animals are prey to larger animals, including fish, such as striped bass, black drum and croakers.An oyster reef can increase the surface area of a flat bottom 50-fold. They are protandric; during their first year, they spawn as males by releasing sperm into the water.Some kinds of pearl oysters are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle.Windowpane oysters are harvested for their translucent shells, which are used to make various kinds of decorative objects. This family includes the edible oysters, which mainly belong to the genera Ostrea, Crassostrea, Ostreola, Magallana, and Saccostrea.In fact, in a harvest of two and a half tons of oysters, only three to four oysters produce what commercial buyers consider to be absolute perfect pearls.
Almost all shell-bearing mollusks can secrete pearls, yet most are not very valuable.
In fact, since the beginning of the 20th century, when several researchers discovered how to produce artificial pearls, the cultured pearl market has far outgrown the natural pearl market.
A number of bivalve molluscs (other than true oysters and pearl oysters) also have common names that include the word "oyster", usually because they either taste like or look somewhat like true oysters, or because they yield noticeable pearls.
Many, but not all, oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.
Some kinds of oysters are commonly consumed by humans, cooked or raw, and are regarded as a delicacy.
In three to seven years, the oyster can produce a perfect pearl.