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Scientists discover world's oldest creature

Posted on Thursday, 14 November, 2013 | Comment icon 18 comments

Fishermen haul up vast quantities of molluscs on a regular basis. Image Credit: Ken Hammond / USDA

A bivalve mollusc that goes by the name of Ming has turned out to be a staggering 507 years old.

Having survived for centuries through climate change, world wars and natural predators, the oldest living creature would seem to be able to endure almost anything, at least that was until researchers managed to kill while they were trying to determine how old it was.

The investigative blunder saw the record-breaking mollusc's life come to an abrupt end just as its significance had been realized. Ming was first discovered in Iceland in 2006 and was believed to be 405 years old until a more recent study revealed it to be almost a century older.

"After the story hit the media, we were contacted by people who were upset that the ocean quahog had been killed. But we had no idea it was that old before it was too late," said researcher Paul Butler.

The jury is still out on whether Ming really is the oldest living creature, with the distinct possibility that far older molluscs are still out there. By refining the definition of "creature" it is also possible to include the glass sponge, an organism that lives up to 23,000 years, as a potential candidate for the title.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (18)

Tags: Mollusc, Ming

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by ancient astronaut on 14 November, 2013, 21:13
Comment icon #10 Posted by WelshRed on 14 November, 2013, 22:49
1st off the article above says "Ming was first discovered in Iceland in 2006 and was believed to be 405 years old until a more recent study revealed it to be almost a century older". The critical word being "almost" a century old. I don't need to tell anyone reading this that the article 1st says "turned out to be 507 years old", then goes on to say 1st discovered in 2006 but it was originally thought to be 405 years old? Since when was 405 to 507 less than 100 (almost a century)? 2nd 507 years is not old in my opinion, comparatively speaking (compared to ... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by highdesert50 on 15 November, 2013, 1:17
Age is relative. But, given the anatomical complexity of the mollusk, I suspect much could be learned regarding aging and immunity to disease.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Chooky88 on 15 November, 2013, 5:43
It's the quality of life that matters. Imagine reading it's diary. "Day 181364, filter fed most of the day, slept, closed when a shadow passed, opened after a few minutes, filter fed some more. 321 days until I send my spermatozoa out again."
Comment icon #13 Posted by Lava_Lady on 15 November, 2013, 18:38
Quahog, RI!! ...giggity...
Comment icon #14 Posted by kannin on 15 November, 2013, 19:17
this made me lol
Comment icon #15 Posted by pallidin on 15 November, 2013, 21:53
Seems like the following list will be expanded...
Comment icon #16 Posted by kannin on 15 November, 2013, 22:07
hugh jackman in a bubble nuff said
Comment icon #17 Posted by Azznerak the Black on 18 November, 2013, 17:56
Stupid ass human scum. Hopefully when they are old and feeble some alien race decides to cut off thier heads in attempts to determine thier age. Useless bags of meat.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Myles on 18 November, 2013, 18:18
Blah blah blah. Have you ever swatted a fly. Killed a spider? You are not innocent either. Useless bag of meat.
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