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World's oldest living animal was 507 years old when scientists accidentally killed it

World's oldest living animal was 507 years old when scientists accidentally killed it | animal news of the world | Scoop.it

World's oldest creature - known as Ming the mollusc - is proven even older than previously thought. When scientists inadvertently killed what turned out to be the world’s oldest living creature, it was bad enough. Now, their mistake has been compounded after further research found it was even older – at 507 years.

 

The ocean quahog - a type of deep-sea clam - was dredged alive from the bottom of the North Atlantic near Iceland in 2006 by researchers. They then put it in a freezer, as is normal practice, unaware of its age.

 

It was only when it was taken to a laboratory that scientists from Bangor University studied it and concluded it was 400 years old.

The discovery made it into the Guinness Book of World Records however by this time, it was too late for Ming the Mollusc – named after the Chinese dynasty on the throne when its life began.

 

Now, after examining the ocean quahog more closely, using more refined methods, the researchers have found the animal was actually 100 years older than they first thought.

 

Dr. Paul Butler, from the University’s School of Ocean Sciences, 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.”

 

A quahog’s shell grows by a layer every year, in the summer when the water is warmer and food is plentiful. It means that when its shell is cut in half, scientists can count the lines in a similar way trees can be dated by rings in their trunks.

 

The growth rings can be seen in two places; on the outside of the shell and at the hinge where the two halves meet. The hinge is generally considered by scientists as the best place to count the rings, as it is protected from outside elements.

 

When researchers originally dated Ming, they counted the rings at the hinge. However because it was so old, many had become compressed. When they looked again at the outside of the shell, they found more rings. It means the mollusc was born in 1499 – just seven years after Columbus discovered America and before Henry VIII had even married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon in 1509.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Nancy jodoin's insight:

This about the Ming dynasty with a twist.

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Connor Keesee's curator insight, December 5, 2013 12:30 PM

Oldest animal in history accidentally killed by scientists. The age of the shell is found by counting the rings on the outside just like a tree. The shell was found in the North Atlantic near Iceland in 2006 by researchers. The clam is called the Ming Mollusc. 

Rescooped by Nancy jodoin from No Such Thing As The News
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Most people wearing animal noses world record

Most people wearing animal noses world record | animal news of the world | Scoop.it

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, USA--607 revelers packed a downtown city block in Grand Rapids, Mich.


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Rescooped by Nancy jodoin from Le Marche another Italy
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Pireta, Matelica: a corner of Murano in Le Marche

Pireta, Matelica: a corner of Murano in Le Marche | animal news of the world | Scoop.it

Since 1987, the artisan company Pireta owned by Roberta Merlo, works realizing precious glass objects with the technics of Murano glass and blown glass. The name "PIRETA" is inspired by a butterfly from Ecuador whose transparent wings resemble the transparency of glass and red spots at their ends reminiscent of the fire of the furnace.
All the production is represented by unique works of rare beauty made entirely by hand that take inspiration from the vegetable and animal world. Small ornaments, wedding favors, unique jewelry.
Different the technics used: glass worked "luce", classic blown glass, Glass Fusion thanks to a big furnace.


Pireta
Vicolo Lozzo 35
62024 Matelica (MC)
Tel 073786431
Cell Roberta Merlo 3488997489
E-mail roberta_merlo@libero.it


Via Mariano Pallottini
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Sharing Fido: Does your state have pet custody laws?

Sharing Fido: Does your state have pet custody laws? | animal news of the world | Scoop.it
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