Boring as the drudgery of deep sea dredgery in Icelandic waters may be , it is electrifying compared to the life-style of the Arctic Clam. A long and tedious Daily Telegraph piece tells of a University of Bangor oceanography team retrieving a deep water specimen of Arctica islandica some 3.4 inches long, in other words, a quahog, along with some 30 of its fellows. It was transported to the UK where it died of neglect before it could be converted into chowder.
However, when sectioned by Dr. Alan Wanamaker on a diamond saw , a count of its shell's growth rings revealed that the creature, having sat on the seabed since 1602, was 405 years old at the time of its demise. Prof Chris Richardson opines:
" it is possible that an investigation of the tissues of these real life Methuselahs might help us to understand the processes of ageing."
Richard Faragher, a gerontologist at Brighton
we know ... what it tastes like. We need to find out how it retains muscle strength, remains cancer-free and keeps its nervous system intact over such a long period of time."
Nonsense - we need to know if it has the skinny on Elizabeth and Essex, and the latest gossip on James I- next time The Sun and OK should be on the quarterdeck to interview the next 400 year old to be dredged up, and take some nude Page Three pix before it turns into obit material for the London Times.
Meanwhile, down under the age old riddle of why penguins smell bad has at last been answered . The PNAS reports the recovery of still viable bacteria from Antarctic dry valley ice up to eight million years old.