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Birds, Wildlife and Gardening

An oyster: they can hear the breaking waves | Helen Sullivan

<p>To eat an oyster raw is to eat it alive</p><p>On the oyster’s edge, under the sea, on a rock, a tree root, a bamboo pole, a pebble, a tile or another shell, the bivalve’s cilia – from the Latin for eyelash – are waving. Together, they move water over the oyster’s gills – its shell is open, its muscles are relaxed. The oyster has lungs. It has a three-chambered heart. An hour passes; the oyster has filtered five litres of water. The oyster has <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/25/science/oysters-noise-pollution.html">listened to the breaking waves</a>: it opens and closes according to the tides.</p><p>One valve is the cupped half of the shell, the other is the flat half. A cargo ship sounds its horn. The oyster shuts in fright. </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2021/may/28/a-praying-mantis-she-bites-into-her-mates-head-like-an-apple-and-cleans-her-face-like-a-cat">A praying mantis: she bites into her mate’s head like an apple and cleans her face ‘like a cat’ | Helen Sullivan</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2021/jun/15/an-oyster-they-can-hear-the-breaking-waves">Continue reading...</a>

To eat an oyster raw is to eat it alive

On the oyster’s edge, under the sea, on a rock, a tree root, a bamboo pole, a pebble, a tile or another shell, the bivalve’s cilia – from the Latin for eyelash – are waving. Together, they move water over the oyster’s gills – its shell is open, its muscles are relaxed. The oyster has lungs. It has a three-chambered heart. An hour passes; the oyster has filtered five litres of water. The oyster has listened to the breaking waves: it opens and closes according to the tides.

One valve is the cupped half of the shell, the other is the flat half. A cargo ship sounds its horn. The oyster shuts in fright.

Related: A praying mantis: she bites into her mate’s head like an apple and cleans her face ‘like a cat’ | Helen Sullivan

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