The submicroscopic structure of the growing surface of the shell of the oyster, Crassostrea virginica, was studied by means of shadowed replicas. The outer edge of the prismatic region consists of a fine grained matrix enclosing crystals, the surfaces of which show a finely pebbled structure. Crystal size varies continously from 0.01 µ to 8 µ. The matrix surface shows no evidence of fibrous structure. The outer portions of the prismatic region exhibit a tile-like arrangement of large crystals separated by granular matrix 0.02 to 0.08 µ in thickness. The exposed crystal surfaces have indentations of varying form which appear as roughly parallel grooves spaced at intervals of approximately 0.3 µ. The final form of this region is believed to result from the random distribution of crystal seeds, which grow without orientation and through coalescence and growth come into contact, producing polygonal areas. The crystal arrangement of the nacreous region is one of overlapping rows of crystals in side to side contact, and with one end of each crystal free, permitting continued increase in length. Crystal angles and plane indices are presented.

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