This week, a clam was found to be 500 years old, making it the longest-living animal known. The clam, an Ocean Quahog, was 100 years older than previously thought. Researchers at Bangor University dated the mollusk to a ripe old 507. If you've ever had clam chowder, you've likely eaten flesh from this species -- and that tasty bite may have been several hundred years old.
The scientists studying the clam aren't sure how it lives so long. It appears to have evolved an extremely effective defense against normal damage due to aging. And the study of its tissue could provide a better understanding of the aging process in other animals, including humans.
Ready to see some other extremely old critters? Read on for more long-living species.