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October 28, 2007

Scientists find 400-year-old clam. Yes, clam.

A team of scientists from Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences have dredged up a clam believed to be around 400 years old. Science Daily reports that the clam, which has been living off the coast of Iceland, is possibly the oldest living animal on Earth, eclipsing both the official and unofficial records (a 220-year-old American clam and a 374-year-old Icelandic clam, respectively). A sample of noted peers:

"When this animal was a juvenile, King James I replaced Queen Elizabeth I as English monarch, Shakespeare was writing his greatest plays Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth and Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for espousing the view that the Sun rather than the Earth was the centre of the universe."

The BBC reports that scientists hope that the clam, nicknamed Ming, will shed light on the mechanics of such long-living creatures.