The oldest animal in the world turned out to be even older than the researchers who discovered it in 2006.
This is Ming, an arctic clam Iceland declared as the oldest animal in the world with 405 , but seven years later , scientists revealed that actually had more than 100 years had determined.
Scientists investigating the vital clam length confessed that it was they who ended their life by opening the shell of the mollusk to examine , according to the news portal ABC.es.
The confusion of the true age of Ming is due to a flaw in the calculations to determine with certainty since the years of the mollusk counted the rings on the outside and inside of the shell, similar to calculating the age of trees process .
Opening the shell Ming, when she was found , scientists inevitably killed the clam, but had never imagined that over 200 years .
Now , seven years later, researchers have they realized that some 100 rings were left untold, because given the advanced age of Ming, many of the rings were compressed .
" The age has been confirmed by several methods , you inluídas geometric techniques such as carbon -14 method . I'm sure this vex have found the correct age . If there is any error, it may only be for a year or two , "said Rob Wibaard , marine biologist at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.
Using Ming and other clams that have been collected , researchers aim to establish changes in environmental conditions such as the temperature of the sea water , salinity and food availability for the past centuries.
According Wibaard , the chemical composition of the shell will reveal the clues needed to determine the conditions mentioned above .
" Our research provides unique information. Using the techniques employed , offer data on sea temperature year by year from a period before there were records , "said the biologist.
Meanwhile, although the end of Ming can be considered somewhat premature, researchers say individuals of the same species with longer life yet to be found . "
"We found a total of 200 similar to Ming in our expedition in Iceland clams " claimed Paul Butler, one of the lead authors of the research.