World’s Oldest Creature Killed By Scientists Trying To Find Its Age

Bungling Bangor Profs accidentally kill 507 year old Ming the clam


Ming the clam, 507, was enjoying a peaceful old age until bungling boffins cracked it open to sea how old it was.

Research into the clam’s age, which is established by counting the rings on its shell, was first conducted in 2007 when scientists from Bangor University estimated it to be between 405 and 410 years old.

Despite the advanced age of the remarkable mollusc the scientists decided to keep clam and carry on with their study.

They shellfishly decided that knowing its age was more important than letting it grow older.

fixed ming infographic

This week the scientists decided they had to know for sure and pulled poor Ming apart, a procedure that allows more accurate dating of the organism but also leads to its inevitable death.

The inside of a clam - if you're seeing this it's already dead

The inside of a clam – if you’re seeing this it’s already dead

This terminal procedure revealed poor old Ming to be a whopping 507 years old.

Professor James Scourse, from Bangor University, told the BBC: “We’ve had e-mails accusing us of being clam murderers.”

The team also revealed that they had unwittingly carried out the clamitous experiment that laid waste to a creature more than half a millennium old.

Ming was part of a wider study into the species which was intended to teach scientists about the history of the oceans and they claim its death was part of a wider attempt to examine the shell structure of the long-lasting ocean dweller.

At least the scientists who contributed to Britain’s annual 1.3 million vivisection deaths, exclusively revealed by the Tab earlier this week, knew what they were doing.