In what sea creature are pearls found?

Question: In what sea creature are pearls found?

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Pearls are found in a type of sea creature called a mollusk, specifically in oysters, although they can also be found in mussels and clams. These mollusks are bivalves, meaning they have a two-part hinged shell. Pearls are a result of the mollusk’s defense mechanism when a foreign substance, like a tiny grain of sand or a parasite, enters its shell.

Upon intrusion, the mollusk secretes a substance called nacre, or mother-of-pearl, to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating is deposited around the foreign object to protect the mollusk’s soft internal body, forming a pearl over time.

While pearls are often associated with oysters, not all oysters produce pearls. It’s primarily pearl oysters, from the family Pteriidae, that create the gem-quality pearls used in jewelry. It’s also worth noting that, while most pearls are harvested from saltwater oysters, freshwater pearls come from mussels.

In today’s pearl industry, the majority of pearls are cultivated or farmed by artificially introducing an irritant into the oysters to stimulate the production of pearls. These are known as cultured pearls. Natural pearls, formed without human intervention, are rare and often more valuable.