The Oldest Animal In The World Was Killed By Researchers

Samuel Reason | September 10th, 2018

In 2006, Ming the clam was found by scientists and later he was killed by those very own scientists. A team of researchers in Bangor University discovered that Ming the clam was the oldest animal in the world, at the ripe age of 507 years. A species of Icelandic clams which are called the ocean quahog.

telegraph.co.uk

This clam would have been born in 1499, which means it was alive during the era of the Chinese Ming dynasty. Due to this fact, the team of researchers decided to call the clam Ming. Yet the researchers actually killed the mollusk when they opened up its shell to find out exactly how old this clam was. At the time, the scientists were not actually aware of how extremely old Ming was.

Originally it was believed that the mollusk was around 405 years old, but in 2013, after some considerable advances in aging methodology and technique, Ming the clam age has been revised to 507 years.
a
Much like counting the rings of a tree, when figuring out the age of a clam you have to count the creature’s growth rings on their shell. Thought it is a little more complicated than just counting, there are seasonal variations that affect how quickly the shell can grow.

When first discovered the team counted the rings at the hinge of the clam, but given how old it was, they had an extremely hard time distinguishing different rings. In a space of millimeters, there were over 500 rings packed together, and many were missed. The new method allowed the scientists to count the rings on the exterior where they were much more evenly spaced. This allowed them to confirm with absolute certainty that Ming was the oldest creature alive – unfortunate that this discovery was what killed it.

Next Article
  • The Man-Eating Lions Of Tsavo

    Perhaps known as some of the most notorious lions to have ever lived in the wild, the man-eating lions of Tsavo were hunted and vilified for generations. In the huge swath around the Kenya savanna living around the Tsavo River, these groups of wild lions were notorious for hunting humans. ...

    Read More
  • 25 of the Smartest Animals on the Planet

    For all you animal lovers out there, I’m sure you’ve seen an animal do something that has impressed you. Perhaps they seemed to catch on a joke that you made or maybe they found a clever way to get to the snacks you were hiding. Animals are smart! They might not seem to always be...

    Read More
  • Watch Out For Red Triangle Slugs In Your Home

    We usually think of slugs as harmless creatures that turn up in your garden after a rain. Or maybe you see a bird poking at one in your walk around the park with your dog. Sure slugs are definitely gross us out and we don’t like them being all sticky. Not to mention those slimy...

    Read More
  • Baby Airing In The 1900s Was A Way To Boost An Infant’s Health

    Fresh air is always considered the best option when thinking about your health, and of course, receiving sunshine. It is especially good for a young child’s development and we see this thought process going into many young parents minds today: just look at all the kids and strollers going through your local park. Today it...

    Read More
  • The Hippo And The Tortoise A New Fairytale

    A story that anyone could mistake from being a new fairytale is one where the two characters made an unlikely friendship. This is the story of when a baby hippo struck up a strange friendship with an extremely old tortoise. An orphaned baby hippopotamus was rescued after a natural disaster that shook the whole world...

    Read More
  • Jacklyn Lucas Was One Badass Marine

    Everyone who has learned anything about explosives knows that jumping on top of a live grenade is the most selfless act one can commit. It also requires courage and heroism that most people are just not capable of, but of course, if you were a badass marine like Jacklyn Lucas, then this was just another...

    Read More
  • The Megamouth Shark Species Has Only Been Spotted Sixty Times

    An extremely rare type of shark which swims around Taiwanese, Philippines and Japanese waters was only first spotted in 1976. The terrifying beast usually weighs over a ton and can be over five meters long. Megamouth sharks generally just swim with their mouths open, filling themselves up with krill, shrimp and plankton. [caption id="attachment_6959" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More
  • Human Saliva Contains A Compound More Powerful Than Morphine

    In need for some natural painkillers or just having a bad day? Well then you may just be able to spit on yourself, yes that is right human saliva contains a natural ingredient that is more powerful than morphine. In fact, the substance that scientists have found recently is actually six times more potent than...

    Read More