Common Name: Pacific Oyster

Scientific Name: Crassostrea gigas

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca 
Class: Bivalvia

Order: Ostreoida

Family: Ostreidae

Genus: Crassostrea

Species: C. gigas

The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, is the native oyster of the Pacific coast of Korea, Japan and China. It has been introduced to North America, especially in Puget Sound, Washington; and to the Australian states of Tasmania and South Australia. It is an important commercial harvest in all of these places, as well as New Zealand where the Pacific oyster has replaced the native rock oyster, Crassostrea glomerata, as the main commercial species. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas Thunberg, is a marine bivalve native to the west Pacific, and now cultured in many coastal regions of the world. It is a diploid species without any known history of polyploidization (having one or more extra sets of chromosomes).

Like most oyster species, Pacific oysters change sex during their life, usually spawning first as a male and subsequently as a female. Spawning is temperature dependent and occurs in the summer months. Pacific oyster females can produce between30 to  40 million eggs per spawning, often giving the surrounding water a milky appearance. Fertilisation takes place in the water column.

Pacific oysters have a fairly thin shell with no hinge teeth on the inner, upper shell. The adductor muscle is purple or brown in color, whilst the edges of the mantle are black.

The pacific oyster is actually a common food dish. It is eaten many places. There are surprisingly many recipes for this underwater animal.

There is not much on this animal but scientists are still doing research, trying to find out more information on this aquatic animal.


Author: Zach H 
Published: 02/2012

© 2014 by The Virtual Zoo. Proudly created with

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now