Oyster Shell

(Crassostrea virginica) Adopted on March 5, 1974.

On March 5, 1974, Virginia embraced the the majority of well-known of state shells, the eastern oyster, (Crassostrea virginica,) which likewise represents Connecticut and Mississippi.

Several Virginia Beach school kids carrying oyster shells gathered around Governor Mills E. Godwin Jr. as he signed the oyster into legislation. One girl presented Godwin via a shiny oyster shell, and he said, "I come from down in oyster nation, you understand." A school team came up with the principle of adopting the oyster which was presented in the legislature by Owen B.Pickett of Virginia Beach. Pickett thought an main oyster might assist promote tourism. Virginia"s oyster resources is the Menchville location. It is located in southerly Virginia on the James River, the largest organic seed oyster bed in the Chesapeake Bay area. In winter, watercrafts from anywhere to Virginia coastline gather at Menchville to work on the public seed beds. Boats from Maryland and also north Virginia also visit Menchville to buy seed oysters, which they plant in the upper Chesapeake Bay and in rivers. Virginia even has actually an main watercraft to harvest oysters from, the Chesapeake Bay deadrise!

Virginia State Shell: Oyster Shell


The Eastern oyster is reasonably big, flourishing approximately 10 cm. in size. It is generally somewhat pear-shaped in outline, however members of this species vary substantially in dimension and also form. The shell is dirty gray externally and white internally, other than for the muscle scar, which is deep purple. Oysters normally colonize in beds. Competition for space is a many crucial resource of mortality. Uncrowded, oysters have the right to live to be 20 years old. The beds are a permanent social framework unmuch less they are separated physically and also forcecompletely. Otherwise, the oysters will certainly re-congregate if they are qualified.

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Oyster shells are made of calcium carbonate (lime). The oysters must get this lime from the water they live in. They additionally have a sort of skin, called a mantle, which puts this calcium carbonate on the outside of their bodies to create a protective shell. Oysters should live in water that is temperate (heat all year) and not too cloudy. They grow just in locations where salt and fresh water mix together, like salt marshes. Oysters are born as free-swimming plankton (tiny microscopic organisms). When they grow up, they find a area (on mud, coral, debris, or other oyster shells) to attach and grow. Once they prosper their shells, they can not relocate approximately anymore. When the tide is high, oysters are spanned by water, yet once the tide goes out, they are left sticking up into the dry air. Their shells close tightly together so the pet inside will not dehydrate (dry out) prior to the tide comes ago in.


After spawning in early on spring, the oyster loses a good deal of weight. This event normally synchronizes through the spring bloom of phytoplankton, their major food source. Feeding is dependent upon water temperature; even more food is consumed at greater temperatures than at lower. Oysters are filter-feeders. They suck in water and filter out the plankton and also detritus to swpermit. Then they spit the water back out. (Detritus is dead plant and animal issue.)


Reproductive organs deserve to be conveniently observed only during the reproduction seaboy. There is no refertile task during the winter. Sexual maturity is a role of size rather than era. The first spawning usually occurs when the oyster is 2 years of age. Fertilization occurs once expensive numbers of sperm sperm and eggs are expelled from the male or female and also satisfy in the water.


The oyster"s mantle (skin) provides both an external white crusty shell, and a smooth inner shell. The smooth inner part is dubbed "nacre" or "Mvarious other of Pearl." Sometimes a little bit of sand also gets inside the oyster"s shell. This is very irritating to the oyster, like obtaining an eyelash in your eye. So the oyster covers this little bit of dirt with shiny smooth Mvarious other of Pearl. It keeps extending the dirt and rolling it approximately till it doesn"t cause any kind of even more irritation. This makes a pearl. The oysters that world eat in north Florida (Eastern oysters) hardly ever before make pretty pearls. But tbelow are various other kinds of oysters, clams, mussels, conchs, whelks, and also abalone that execute make nice pearls. We think of pearls as being round and also white, but they are often yellow or black, and many type of other colors and forms.

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Virginia Law

The law designating oyster shell as the main Virginia state shell is discovered in the Code of Virginia, Title 1, Chapter 5, Section 1-510. Virginia signs were re-organized under one area of the Code of Virginia in 2005.

Title 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS. Chapter 5 - Emblems§ 1-510. Official emblems and desigcountries. The complying with are hereby designated official emblems and desigcountries of the Commonwealth: Artisan Center - "Virginia Artisans Center," located in the City of Waynesboro. Bat - Virginia Big-eared bat (Corynorhinos townsendii virginianus). Beverage - Milk. Blue Ridge Folklore State Center - Blue Ridge Institute located in the village of Ferrum. Boat - "Chesapeake Bay Deadrise." Covered Bridge Capital of the Commonwealth - Patrick County. Covered Bridge Festival - Virginia Covered Bridge Festival hosted in Patrick County. Dog - Amerideserve to Foxhound. Emergency medical solutions museum - "To The Rescue," located in the City of Roanoke. Fish - Brook Trout. Fleet - Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discoextremely, which comprised the Commonwealth"s beginning fleet that carried the first long-term English settlers to Jamestvery own in 1607, and also which are exhibited at the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg. Freduced - Amerihave the right to Dogtimber ( Cornus florida). Folk dance - Square dancing, the Amerihave the right to folk dance that traces its family tree to the English Counattempt Dance and also the French Ballroom Dance, and also is dubbed, cued, or prompted to the dancers, and also has squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, the Virginia Reel, and also heritage dances. Fossil - Chesapecten jeffersonius. Gold mining interpretive center - Monroe Park, located in the County of Fauquier. Insect - Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus Linne). Motor sports museum - "Wood Brothers Racing Museum and also Virginia Motor Sports Hevery one of Fame," situated in Patrick County. Outdoor drama - "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama," adapted for the phase by Clara Lou Kelly and percreated in the Tvery own of Big Stone Gap. Outdoor drama, historical - "The Long Way Home" based upon the life of Mary Draper Ingles, adapted for the stage by Earl Hobboy Smith, and also percreated in the City of Radford. Shell - Oyster shell (Crassostrea virginica). Tune emeritus - "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," by James A. Bland, as collection out in the House Joint Resolution 10, adopted by the General Assembly of Virginia at the Session of 1940. Sports hall of fame - "Virginia Sports Hevery one of Fame," located in the City of Portsmouth. War memorial museum - "Virginia War Museum," (previously well-known as the War Memorial Museum of Virginia), located in the City of Newport News. (Code 1950, § 7-35, 7-36, 7-37; 1966, cc. 102, 547, § 7.1-37, 7.1-38, 7.1-39; 1974, c. 24, § 7.1-40; 1982, c. 191, § 7.1-40.1; 1986, c. 138, § 7.1-40.2; 1988, c. 317, § 7.1-40.3; 1991, cc. 71, 575, § 7.1-40.4, 7.1-40.5; 1993, cc. 251, 509, § 7.1-40.6; 1994, cc. 33, 134, 220, 464, § 7.1-40.2:1, 7.1-40.8; 1995, cc. 12, 180, § 7.1-40.2:2; 1996, c. 52, § 7.1-40.9; 1997, cc. 66, 576, § 7.1-40.10; 1999, cc. 69, 336, § 7.1-40.11; 2001, cc. 97, 134, § 7.1-40.12; 2001, c. 228, § 7.1-40.13; 2005, cc. 557, 839; 2006, c. 128; 2007, cc. 391, 685; 2008, c. 262.)

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Oyster

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Bivalthrough Order: Ostreoida Family: Ostreidae Genus: Crassostrea Species: Crassostrea virginica