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|Common name:||Giant Pacific Oyster|
|Scientific name:||Crassostrea gigas|
|Other names:||Pacific oyster, Japanese oyster, Miyagi oyster|
|Status on Vashon:||Common|
This large introduced oyster orginally came from the Pacific coast of Asia but is now crowding out Vashon's native oysters (such as the Olympia oyster). It is an estuarine species, but can also be found in intertidal and subtidal zones down to 40 meters deep.
Similar to other oyster species, once a Pacific oyster larva finds a suitable habitat, it attaches to it permanently using cement secreted from a gland in its foot. After settlement, the larva metamorphoses into a juvenile. The growth rate is very rapid in optimum environmental conditions, and market size can be achieved in 18 to 30 months. Unharvested Pacific oysters can live up to 30 years.
It originated from Japan, where it has been cultured for hundreds of years. It is now the most widely farmed and commercially important oyster in the world, as it is very easy to grow, environmentally tolerant and is easily spread from one area to another. Predators include several crab species and sea stars.
|More details:||Encyclopedia of Life Wikipedia|
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