Methuselah Worms

O'Reilly, Myles Myles.OReilly at sepa.org.uk
Wed Feb 9 15:47:04 EST 2000


Dear Colleagues

I was fascinated to read about Lamellibrachia, the allegedly 250 year 
worms from the deep sea vents in the Gulf of Mexico.  I have read that the 
Ocean Quahog Clam (Arctica islandica) may live up to 225 years.  Is the 
"Methuselah Worm" the new longevity record holder for (non-colonial) 
invertebrates?  Perhaps the Lamellibrachia tube's age estimate could be 
calibrated by testing for radio-isotope signatures from the 1950's? 
(Assuming  detectable quantities of fallout reach the ocen floor.  

Myles O'Reilly
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
West Region
East Kilbride
Glasgow G46 7AB

myles.oreilly at sepa.org.uk


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