Molluscs

Crabs, shellfish, clams,...

Clam lived to be over 500 years old

This makes the otherwise unassuming Arctica islandica clam the longest lived animal species on record, though some corals are probably much older. The clam was initially named Ming by Sunday Times journalists, in reference to the Ming dynasty, during which it was born.

Researchers from Bangor University in North Wales – unaware of the animal’s impressive age – determined the age by drilling through and counting rings on its shell (a technique known as sclerochronology). In the process the clam died.

Shipworm: The Scourge of Wooden Wrecks is Really a Mussel

A specimen of shipworm (USGS / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Have you ever wondered why some bodies of water, such as the Baltic, have so many wooden wrecks in great condition while other areas have almost no wooden wrecks at all? It has something to do with salinity; however, it is not the salt in seawater that consumes the wrecks but a mussel, which somewhat confusingly is called a worm—and it only lives in saltwater.

Giant Australian Cuttlefish

The giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama) is the largest cuttlefish in the world, reaching up to half a metre in total length and weighing in at around 11kg. Solitary animals, they are found all along the coastline of the southern half of Australia—from Central Queensland on the eastern coast, right around the bottom of the continent and up to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia.

Cephalopods - Jet-powered Masters of Disguise

Most cephalopods—the group in which scientists classify octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses—can change color faster than a chameleon. They can also change texture and body shape, and if those camouflage techniques don’t work, they can still “disappear” in a cloud of ink, which they use as a smoke-screen or decoy.