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Even Without Ears, Oysters Can Hear The Ocean

Oysters are one of the latest creatures who are shown to hear the noises around them. The study was conducted by Jean Charles Massabuau and his colleagues at the University of Bordeaux in France. Their team kept 32 Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in tanks and exposed them to sounds of varying frequencies ranging between 10 and 20,000 hertz. Since, oysters close their valves when threatened, they were fitted with accelerometers so the scientists could track them even if they moved.

The results showed that oysters responded to frequencies ranging between 10-1000 hertz. Scientists said that oysters discern the sound waves using an organ called statocyst to register movement and vibration. There are a lot of advantages to the conclusion of this study. For example, it can show that oysters can probably hear the arrival of tidal water. Tidal water carries their food. The results of the study do show that oysters might be able to hear water currents and breaking waves in shallow waters. This can help them open up ready for the tide's arrival.

This could also mean that oysters can hear thunderstorms too - a conclusion that explains previous observation on so as to why oysters spawn during thunderstorm and lighting. They might also be able to hear the predators’ sound of currents when they approach them.


By: Neha Maheshwari