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Oysters create pearls as a defense mechanism against irritants or foreign objects that enter their shells. When a foreign object, such as a grain of sand or a parasite, enters an oyster's shell, the oyster secretes layers of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, around the irritant. Nacre is a combination of calcium carbonate and protein that the oyster produces. The layers of nacre build up over time, forming a pearl. The process of creating a pearl can take several years, depending on the size and type of pearl being formed.

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by (114k points)
Oysters create pearls as a defense mechanism against irritants or foreign objects that enter their shells. When a foreign object, such as a grain of sand or a parasite, enters an oyster's shell, the oyster secretes layers of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, around the irritant. Nacre is a combination of calcium carbonate and protein that the oyster produces. The layers of nacre build up over time, forming a pearl. The process of creating a pearl can take several years, depending on the size and type of pearl being formed.
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