A most unusual form of very thick-shelled burial-blackened oyster shell right valve. It looks almost like a set of nesting bowls. It is clearly an old shell – it lived a long time – but it failed to grow much in diameter. All the energies were diverted into increasing the thickness of the shell rather than widening it. This kind of oyster is termed a ‘stunter’. When found in catches from commercially-fished natural or wild oyster beds, this undersized but mature oyster would typically, be returned to the sea bed to grow on. However, they never do achieve the minimum legal size to catch and market. This means that they can breed and potentially produce more specimens of ‘stunters’ should this growth anomaly be inheritable.
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