Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fried or raw?

British marine biologists have discovered what they believe is the oldest living animal recently during routine research in the waters north of Iceland. They dredged up a speciman of Arctica islandica or more commonly known as the ocean quahog, from waters about 250 feet deep.

Three of those clams were definately "old timers" with ages that were verified at 374 years old, 220 years old and the oldest to date, between 405 and 410 years old. Researchers can verify the ages of the clams by counting the growth rings of their shells, much like the rings on a tree which is exactly what they did with these.

"It's death is an unfortunate aspect of this work, but we hope to derive lots of information from it," stated Al Wanamaker, postdoctoral scientist.

That is exactly what happened to the now ex-clam. In order to study the rings and get an accurate count, they had to cut through it's shell. While the scientists seem to be thrilled to have found a clam that old, sadly, I am sure that clam was feeling all that thrilled. No report was made as to whether old clams taste better raw with lemon of fried.

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