14/11/2013 06:01 GMT | Updated 14/11/2013 07:04 GMT

World's Oldest Creature Is A 507-Year-Old Mollusc Named Ming... Or Was Until It Was Killed By Scientists

It’s time to rewrite history: The world’s oldest living creature has been revealed as a 507-year-old quahog clam.

Or at least it was, until a team of scientists managed to kill it by opening it up for analysis.

Ming the mollusc as it has been dubbed, was minding its own business on the seabed off the north coast of Iceland, when it was dredged by researchers from Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences in 2006.

ming the mollusc

Ming the mollusc had reached the ripe old age of 507 before scientists killed it by prising it open

A year later, experts announced they had studied the annual growth rings of the ancient clam and determined it to be between 405 and 410-years-old.

Ming, so named after the Chinese dynasty in power when it came into being, secured itself a posthumous spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-lived non-colonial animal discovered.

But it has since emerged the clam, which was stored in a freezer after its discovery and subsequent death, was actually 507-years-old at the time of its demise.

The error in calculating Ming’s age was realised after using refined methods of scientific examination.

Dr Paul Butler told ScienceNordic: “We got it wrong the first time and maybe we were a bit hasty publishing our findings back then. But we are absolutely certain that we’ve got the right age now.”