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Oldest living organism was 102 years older than thought

Ming, the oldest creature ever to have been discovered, was actually 102 years older than thought, bringing it’s total age to 507.


Ming, an ocean quahog, is the oldest living animal ever found. As it turns out though, the biologists who dated it made some mistakes, and it is actually 102 years older than previously thought, rendering it a staggering 507 years old. Ming was first discovered in 2006 off the coast of Iceland, when it was pulled from the ocean floor by climate researchers. Ocean quahogs create a new band on their shell every year; counting them will reveal the age of the animal. Originally the researchers who found Ming, counted 405 bands, which sent excitement through the scientific world and eventually led to the mollusc being named after the Chinese Ming dynasty.

Somehow, the researchers made a nearly 25% error in their efforts to count the bands and the new number suggests Ming was born in 1499, which, luckily is still during the Ming dynasty. They backed this up with Carbon-14 dating and by comparing growth of recent bands to those of other organisms living in the area. The researchers say that they are confident in the age this time around. Ming’s role in the scientific community is greater than simply being really old thing that evokes curiosity: It has spawned research into how it managed to get so old and how its secrets may be applied to humans. It has also helped researchers determine the temperatures of the ocean for the past 500 years by studying the shell. Unfortunately, Min won’t be around for it’s 600th birthday. The quahog was opened up by the researchers in order to take a look inside, and yeah, that killed it.


Let’s be honest, it’s more of a waste if they didn’t eat it.

Source Phys.org

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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