A clam dredged from icy Arctic waters is being hailed as the world's longest-lived animal.
Climate researchers at Bangor University in the United Kingdom recently counted 405 annual growth rings in the shells of a quahog clam. The team plucked the mollusk from 262-feet-deep (80-meter-deep) waters off the northern coast of Iceland.
The team is studying growth lines in clam shells as part of a project to understand how the climate has changed over the past thousand years.
Quahog clams are known for their longevity. A 220-year-old taken from American waters in 1982 holds the official Guinness Book of World Records oldest animal title. Unofficially, the record belongs to a 374-year-old Icelandic clam housed in a German museum. The new clam is at least 30 years older, according to the Bangor University team. The animal died when the researchers counted its rings.
for more information: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/071029-oldest-clam.html