Daily Mail A clam named ‘Ming’ has been confirmed as the world’s oldest animal at 507 years old. Ming saw off Queen Elizabeth I, the English Civil War, the entire Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and two World Wars. But its life came to an abrupt end seven years ago when scientists from Bangor University dredged the seabed near Iceland as part of a study into climate change. Not knowing the long life of the mollusc, researchers at Bangor University opened its shell for analysis, killing Ming in the process. ‘We got it wrong the first time and maybe we were a bit hasty publishing our findings back then,’ ocean scientist Paul Butler from Bangor University told ScienceNordic. ‘But we are absolutely certain that we’ve got the right age now.’ The problem with the original calculation was that some of Ming’s growth rings on the inside of the shell had become too compressed to be seen. The researchers have now recalculated the age of Ming by looking at the growth rings on the outside of the shell. The ‘new’ age means that the mollusc was born in 1499.By examining the oxygen isotopes in the growth rings, scientists can find out the sea temperature at the time when the shell came into being. What’s even more fascinating, however, are the lessons that the Ming could teach scientists about ageing. A few years ago, charity Help the Aged, gave the marine biologists from Bangor University £40,000 to investigate why this animal lives so long. The charity hopes the university will be able to help unlock the secret to human longevity, or at least make old age a little more palatable. ‘If, in Arctica islandica, evolution has created a model of successful resistance to the damage of ageing, it is possible that an investigation of the tissues of these real life Methuselahs might help us to understand the processes of ageing,’ said researchers Chris Richardson.
Scientists cut Ming The Clam’s life short at a youthful 507 years old, murdering the oldest living creature in earth, and robbing him of a chance to make it to 600 years old. Who knows how long Ming could have survived had the scientists not taken his life in cold blood? Nice job scientists, want to kill anything else elderly while you are at it? Did you back over Betty White in your SUV when you were leaving the parking lot on your way to celebrate this discovery?
NOTE: I think I would have tried to eat Ming The Clam, he has been around for centuries, does that aging make clam meat taste good or bad? There’s only one way to find out. That’s the real experiment that needs to be conducted.