In today’s world, scientists are chipping in with important discoveries and sometimes, we run short of adjectives or superlatives to describe their work. Their discoveries never cease to amass us. Their most recent discovery took the entire world by surprise. Guess what?
Scientists may have found a large whale which has been alive in the Arctic ocean. In fact, this whale is even older than the USA and it has been said that this whale may have been living for 25 years before the USA existed.
Scientists have made the important discovery that many mammals live far longer than expected, estimating that the Bowhead whale has an average 268-year life expectancy. This whale now lives in the Arctic and was earlier known to live at least 211 years. It is said that one whale was dated using amino acids from its eye.
Needless to say, Australian researchers used a genetic ‘clock’ to estimate animals’ lifespans, and they say the whales live nearly 60 years longer than that. They have even worked out the math after studying 42 genes and using a chemical process known as methylation, a method used to predict life expectancy).
“Vertebrates range hugely in lifespan, from a pygmy goby, a tropical fish which lives for only eight weeks, to a bowhead whale. It is incredible to think that there is an animal which lives for almost three centuries and could have been alive when Captain Cook first arrived in Australia.
The results will also help to work out animals’ risk of extinction. This could not be used to predict people’s lifespan as it looks at species rather than individuals. It also provides averages only,” study author Dr Benjamin Mayne, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.