Fossil Oysters and Environmental Productivity

Crassostrea gigantissima

This summer I’ll be working on my thesis for the geology department. My primary interest is paleontology and most of my research is on extinct oysters. My thesis focuses on one species of oyster, Crassostrea gigantissima. C. gigantissima lived about 30 million years ago along the coast of the southeast United States. Its known for being one of the largest species of oyster, living or extinct. A large modern oyster may grow 10 centimeters in length. A typical C. gigantissima grew 25-30 centimeters long, with a remarkably thick shell. I’m interested in understanding why C. gigantissima grew so large, and hopefully applying that knowledge to help modern oysters. [Read more…]