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Scientists Find, Kill, Oldest Living Animal
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Old 30 Oct 2007, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Scientists Find, Kill, Oldest Living Animal

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British marine biologists have found what may be the oldest living animal — that is, until they killed it.

The team from Bangor University in Wales was dredging the waters north of Iceland as part of routine research when the unfortunate specimen, belonging to the clam species Arctica islandica, commonly known as the ocean quahog, was hauled up from waters 250 feet deep.

Only after researchers cut through its shell, which made it more of an ex-clam, and counted its growth rings did they realize how old it had been — between 405 and 410 years old.

Another clam of the same species had been verified at 220 years old, and a third may have lived 374 years. But this most recent clam was the oldest yet.

"Its death is an unfortunate aspect of this work, but we hope to derive lots of information from it," postdoctoral scientist Al Wanamaker told London's Guardian newspaper. "For our work, it's a bonus, but it wasn't good for this particular animal."
Who the fuck knew you could tell the age of clams like you could with trees?

Ring counting?

The fuck?

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Old 31 Oct 2007, 11:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Scientists Find, Kill, Oldest Living Animal
modern civilization at its best
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Old 01 Nov 2007, 12:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Trevelbond
Who the fuck knew you could tell the age of clams like you could with trees?

Ring counting?

The fuck?

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I did.



....most varieties of clams can be aged in the same manner, shells gotta grow along with the body so they match growth rates with tagged clams (yes they can tag them) and there you have a growth baseline, you can even tell if the clam has suffered illness via ring development.
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Old 01 Nov 2007, 01:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dev
I did.



....most varieties of clams can be aged in the same manner, shells gotta grow along with the body so they match growth rates with tagged clams (yes they can tag them) and there you have a growth baseline, you can even tell if the clam has suffered illness via ring development.
Wow. Learn something new everyday.

Like new cliches.
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Old 01 Nov 2007, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did.



....most varieties of clams can be aged in the same manner, shells gotta grow along with the body so they match growth rates with tagged clams (yes they can tag them) and there you have a growth baseline, you can even tell if the clam has suffered illness via ring development.
so was this 400 year old clam like a giant huge monster sized clam? Cause that would be pretty gross.
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Old 01 Nov 2007, 02:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nah, this variety of clam is very slow growing so 1 ring could represent 5+ years, and the rings are very close together. That is why they research, tag and monitor these clams, so they can form a growth time line. Clams are "environmental temperature takers", much like frogs. You can tell alot about the oceanic environment by how healthy they are and the growth rate of these clams.
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Old 08 Nov 2007, 06:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Plus, as a side note, ages of all things can be measured by the amount of rings it has... if you do not believe me, then don't... If you don't know what I mean... research it...
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