Who Lives on an Oyster Reef?

Oyster reefs create habitat for more than 300 species of Chesapeake Bay critters. Meet 10 of our favorites in this animated video.

Transcript

Who lives on an oyster reef?

Oyster reefs create habitat for over 300 species of Chesapeake Bay critters.

Oysters filter the water and provide habitat to hundreds of other species.

Striped Bass get their local name "rockfish" from their habit of hiding among oyster reefs and rocks.

Grass Shrimp are the most abundant species of shrimp in the Bay.

Blue Crabs are the Maryland state crustacean, but most are actually born in Virginia.

American Eels are the only catadromous fish in the Bay, meaning they live in freshwater rivers and spawn in the Sargasso Sea.

Oyster Toadfish can grunt and growl to show fear or annoyance and make a fog horn sound to attract a mate.

Read Beard Sponges are not plants but animals that are filter feeders like oysters.

Blennies use empty oyster shells to hide from predators and to lay their eggs.

Ribbed Mussels can move using sticky, beard-like threads, unlike oysters.

Atlantic Mud Crabs are the largest of five mud crab species found in the Bay.

Barnacles are actually crustaceans like blue crabs, not mollusks like oysters.

Oyster reefs are vital to the health of the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem.

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