Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The world's longest living creatures-Bowhead whale

Bowhead whale: 211-years-old

Dubbed, the old men of the sea by a US reporter, bowhead whales are the oldest mammals on Earth living on average between 100-200 years. One individual whale is documented to have lived to the ripe old age of 211. By tracking changes in amino acids in the lenses of their eyes, scientists are able to determine the approximate ages of bowheads.

Biologist Craig George found the key to their long existence. He said: The bowhead's tough environment - cold water without abundant food available forces it to maintain a great body mass, an effective system for fat storage and an efficient mechanism to keep warm. The stress of living in arctic waters may nurture the whale's pattern of slow growth and long life.” In the past, bowheads have been hunted to near extinction.



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