The Ocean Quahog (Arctica islandica) may have the longest lifespan of any animal known. While they mature at 10 to 32 years, individuals more than 100 years old are common. The species seems to experience limited senescence (biological ageing) with the oldest specimens found being in the order of 225, 268, and 374 years old!
|Arctica islandica - Photo: Hillewaert, Hans|
The Ocean Quahog is of great interest to scientists for this very reason. Climatologists can use them as another tool to infer historical climate changes, through changes in their shell growth, much like they do with tree ring and ice cores records. Those looking in to ageing (or even anti-ageing) study the Ocean Quahog's cells, compounds and DNA.