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It was for this very reason that the British researchers initially chose to count Ming’s growth rings inside the hinge ligaments.
This photo shows the growth rings inside the shell, which formed the basis for the new, more accurate, estimate.
And the really amazing thing is that the pattern in the ocean quahog’s growth rings actually recurs in tree rings.” The discovery of Ming in 2006 has inspired many researchers to try and figure out the secret behind its impressive age.
One leading researcher in this field is the German animal physiologist and marine biologist Doris Abele.
One of the bivalve molluscs, also known as ocean quahogs, that the researchers picked up from the Icelandic seabed turned out to be around 405 years old, and thus the world’s oldest animal.
Today, however, these growth rings have become an accepted way of dating the are visible both on the outside and the outside of the shell.
Witbaard was not involved in the study of Ming, but he has read the new article.
Bivalves were once thought not to exceed 100 years.
This is the only picture of the ocean quahog Ming – the the longest-lived non-colonial animal so far reported whose age at death can be accurately determined.
After the photo was captured in 2007, the shells were separated to allow accurate determination of the animal’s age.
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The hinge ligaments that connect the two shells are generally considered to be the best place for counting growth rings.“On the outside, the mollusc shell is curved, and that makes it difficult to get the right angle for measuring and counting the growth rings,” says Butler.