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How can we be sure that the British researchers have determined Ming’s correct age this time around?According to one of the world’s leading mollusc researchers, there is a general agreement within research circles that 507 years is Ming’s correct age:“The age has been confirmed with a variety of methods, including geochemical methods such as the carbon-14 method.(Photo: Rob Witbaard) could live beyond 100 years,” he says.“I had several specimens in my collection that had more than 100 growth rings, but I found it difficult to convince people that they were really that old.
After the photo was captured in 2007, the shells were separated to allow accurate determination of the animal’s age.The ‘new’ age means that the mollusc was born in 1499 – only a few years after Columbus visited America for the first time, and more than a decade before Martin Luther’s Reformation of the Catholic Church.The mollusc’s 507-year-long life came to an abrupt end in 2006 when the British researchers – unaware of the animal’s impressive age – froze the mollusc onboard the ship.In the late 1980s, Witbaard was one of the scientists who discovered that the age of the The growth rings on the ocean quahog are visible on both the outside and the outside of the shell.
The hinge ligaments that connect the two shells are generally considered to be the best place for counting growth rings.– patterns that are almost identical in all specimens that have lived in the same area at the same time.“In this way we can use measurements of other shells to determine that we actually arrived at the right age.