Animals

The oyster sex-change?

Another random question but I went to a bar and tried raw oysters for the first time. It was gross but that for some reason inspired me to ask this question and the answer surprised me.

Now first, it is impossible to determine whether an oyster is male or female simply by inspecting an oysters shell. Oddly enough, oysters do have separate male and female sex’s but unlike most the animal kingdom, they can change from male to female and vise versa.

But how is this possible you ask? I wondered the same thing.

The “gonads” which are located around the digestive system and are used to produce eggs and sperm which is how they are capable of changing sex’s. They can change sex during their lifetime from one to the other and the change is thought to be related to environmental conditions; femaleness being favored in locations and years with good food supply. From further research, I found that all oysters start off as male, but most change permanently to female by the time they are a year old. It is technically possible, therefore, for an oyster to fertilize its own eggs.

Your Thoughts? 

One thought on “The oyster sex-change?

  1. my thoughts…. that is incredibly random. That said, have oysters discovered something the rest of us have yet to figure out – (i) given a choice we would all change to female and (ii) is you could fertilize yourself, would there be any sue for men at all. I say this in jest of course (I’m a guy)

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