The longest-lived non-colonial animal ever discovered to date is a quahog clam (example pictured), which was dredged from the seabed off the coast of iceland by researchers from Bangor University in Wales in 2006.
Based on annual growth rings in the shell, the team initially determined the clam to be between 405 and 410 years old, which is impressive enough. However, a few years later, using more sophisticated ageing techniques, they revised this figure up to an extraordinary age of 507! The clam was dubbed ‘Ming’ after the Chinese dynasty that was in power at the time of its birth.
it’s worth highlighting that there are even older colonial animals (collective life forms made up of lots of tiny individual creatures). Certain deep-sea corals, for example, have been radiocarbon-dated to more than 4,000 years old! now that’s a lot of birthday candles…