The Conversation

Scientists Confirm World's Oldest Creature...But Kill it Determining Its Age

In 2006, climate change experts from Bangor University in north Wales found a very special clam while dredging the seabeds of Iceland. At that time scientists counted the rings on the inside shell to determine that the clam was the ripe old age of 405. Unfortunately, by opening the clam which scientists refer to as "Ming," they killed it instantly. 

Cut to 2013, researchers have determined that the original calculations of Ming's age were wrong, and that the now deceased clam was actually 102 years older than originally thought. Ming was 507 years old at the time of its demise. 

According to the Mirror, Ocean scientist Paul Butler from Bangor University said: “We got it wrong the first time and maybe we were a bit hasty publishing our findings back then. But we are absolutely certain that we've got the right age now.The nice thing about these shells is that they have distinct annual growth lines, so we can accurately date the shell material.That’s just the same as what archaeologists do when they use tree rings in dead wood to work out the dates of old buildings.”

The 507-year-old clam shattered the previous unofficial title holder for world's oldest creature held by a 374-year-old Icelandic clam in a German museum.

No information was given as to which scientist murdered the former record holder. 

Photo: The Mirror



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