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An oyster can filter up to 5 L (1.3 US gal) of water per hour.

The Chesapeake Bay's once-flourishing oyster population historically filtered excess nutrients from the estuary's entire water volume every three to four days. Excess sediment, nutrients, and algae can result in the eutrophication of a body of water. In addition to their gills, oysters can also exchange gases across their mantles, which are lined with many small, thin-walled blood vessels.

Their nervous system includes two pairs of nerve cords and three pairs of ganglia.

While some oysters have two sexes (European oyster and Olympia oyster), their reproductive organs contain both eggs and sperm.

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.

Once the female is fertilized, she discharges millions of eggs into the water.

In some species the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape.

Because of this, it is technically possible for an oyster to fertilize its own eggs.

The gonads surround the digestive organs, and are made up of sex cells, branching tubules, and connective tissue.

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 some species the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape.

Because of this, it is technically possible for an oyster to fertilize its own eggs.

The gonads surround the digestive organs, and are made up of sex cells, branching tubules, and connective tissue.

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.

A small, three-chambered heart, lying under the adductor muscle, pumps colorless blood to all parts of the body.