back to article Boffins dredge up oldest living animal

Scientists have dredged up the oldest known living creature and have called it Ming. According to reports, the 405-year-old clam (for it is that kind of mollusc) has not been named for the ex-leader of the Liberal Democrats, but for the Ming Dynasty which ruled China when it was young. The clam is so old that during its youth …


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  1. Joe

    Boffins dig up oldest living animal....

    ....and then kill it.

    I can't help but think that ther is some subtle nuance of irony hidden in there

  2. Bill Fresher


    The oldest animal humans have killed - what an achievement.

  3. EvilFairy

    shouldnt the title be...

    Boffins dig up oldest living animal and kill it

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Paris Hilton angle?

    Or is it because it is a clam? Is there video?

  5. Jonathan Richards

    Link, Luce

  6. Jón Frímann Jónsson

    It was already dead....

    Given that I live in Iceland and see this type of shells on the coastline. I am sure that it was already dead when they found it on the coastline. But this type of animals live in the deep ocean, not on the coastline.

    But I don't think they know for how long the animal had been dead when they found the shell.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    April 1st?

    Really? 405 years old? Is someone pulling our collective lower appendages here?

    "Help the Aged has funded the team investigating the clam to the tune of £40,000."?

    If this is indeed all true, does this not prove the fact that science is THAT fantastic!? We find a creature older than anything else living and we manage to kill the poor bloody thing? Way to go Mankind!

    Surely it didn't NEED to die? Could it not have been kept in an environment akin to that from which it came? And I'm hoping it didn't HAVE to be killed to get it's age? Not like cutting a tree down to see how old it is by counting the rings?

    "Oooo.... this tree was 735 years old before we mercilessly cut it down to see how old it is!"


  8. Jason Togneri

    @ Jón Frímann Jónsson

    They did say that "since it was discovered", it has died, which kind of implies that it was alive when they found it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    How will it taste after 405 years of growth?

  10. Jonathan Richards


    > Could it not have been kept in an environment akin to that from which it came?

    Cold, dark and under massive pressure? No, I don't think so. I'm guessing that the clam was alive when it was dredged up but couldn't/didn't survive the trip to the surface. The Bangor report doesn't give a Cause of Death, or mention what 400-year old clam tastes like.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    "The Bangor scientists...believe that the clams may have evolved exceptionally effective defences which hold back the destructive ageing processes that normally occur."

    Or it could just be that living in a cold dark environment while doing very little helps you live longer. Can't be very stressful being a clam, waiting for food to drift into your mouth.

    If you want to see the ageing process at work call your IT bods with an unexplained, critical, company-wide problem that hits first thing Monday morning. I might make a suggestion that our DBAs should be stored in the fridge to improve their longevity.

  12. Alan Donaly
    Thumb Down

    I think

    The secret to a long life is to live deep in the ocean isn't very helpful.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hey Joe

    I wonder if they comforted the dying clam with prozac, which - as any fule kno - has been scientifically proven to make them happy, or at least randy.

    I choose Paris Hilton as my avatar, because I am sure she is used to having squidgy, moist things in her mouth.

  14. Nick
    Paris Hilton

    And I thought...

    ... the story was going to be about Joan Rivers. But then I remembered she had been molested by science (if you can call Plastic surgery a science). I wonder if they'll be saying similar things about Paris when they defrost her in a couple of hundred years.

  15. Mitch

    I don't know what a "Boffin" is....

    ... BUT THEY MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!! ;)

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Being so old, did it have a ...


    Outta here...

  17. Hollerith

    clam robots

    And who is addressing the need for robots to assist elderly clams in socialising, feeding, sitting on the ocean floor, etc.?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And this is why ..

    ... I hate all f**king humans.

    "Look! Something slightly out the ordinary, something new, something amazing and curious..... kill it and cut it up!"

  19. Muddy Stick

    no surprise

    Being a mollusc it already had one foot........(in the grave)

  20. anarchic-teapot

    When 405 years old you will be

    Look so good, you will not.

    I'll get my lightsabre...

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Did it or Did Not?

    I am more interested in knowing if the animal indeed clamored for life... after all not much goes on down there in the depths now, does it?..

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Quote: priceless!

    "Most of what we know about the ocean quahog is what it tastes like"

    I think I know why it's dead...

  23. vincent himpe

    conclusion :

    if you want to live till 405 hide then simply stay away from scientists. simple as that. if a scientist sees you you will die ... we should outlaw all scientists as they are the leading cause of deaths... after all they also invented cars and cancer right ?

    coat ,tin foil hat , door ...

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Wow, a person that old would usually be represented in film by someone with a long white beard... So what I was wondering is: Was it a bearded clam?

    Already out the door... Seeya.

  25. Alan Jenney

    Boffins CARVE UP oldest living animal

    'nuf said.

  26. Luther Blissett

    Ming has popped its clogs

    It was confronted in the cold light of day by boffins and their fanboiz* and after 405 years of contented existence lost the will to live. Thanks a million. Now you know how alien abductees must feel.

    * non-gender specific

  27. Tampa Dave

    Beardless clam is illegal.

    Boffins beware!

    BTW: were these vertical or horizontal???

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Hey! Boffins, leaves those clams alone

    What is it with scientists? They just can't leave things alone. This poor mollusc is just the latest victim. For decades they have been raving about the pico-seconds after the Big Bang. I'd be more interested in the 30 seconds before it, and I'll bet there was a scientist there saying “They said I'd blow up the world with my black hole generator, but I'll prove them all wrong. WRONG I TELL YOU. Now hit that butto.........”

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