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Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 297–310 | Cite as

Arctica islandica: the longest lived non colonial animal known to science

  • I. D. Ridgway
  • C. A. Richardson
Reviews

Abstract

The ocean quahog, Arctica islandica is not just the longest living bivalve, it is also the longest lived, non-colonial animal known to science. With the maximum life span potential ever increasing and currently standing in excess of 400 years the clam has recently gained interest as a potential model organism for ageing research. This review details what is known about the biology of A. islandica, it discusses observed age-associated changes and reviews previous ageing research undertaken on the species and other long-lived bivalves which may be applicable to future ageing research and discusses future directions for ageing research with A. islandica. Historically much of the research on bivalves has been targeted at their utilization as a food source, environmental sentinels and more recently the use of their shells as archives of environmental change. The result of this has been an abundance of knowledge on bivalve life strategies, and a limited amount of information on the physiological changes in the cells and tissues of bivalves during the ageing process. However, research into the mechanisms of senescence of long-lived bivalves from a biogerontological perspective has advanced only recently. The research undertaken thus far has documented age-related differences in anti-oxidant defences and accumulation of oxidative products but despite the recent attention into ageing of A. islandica it is still to be ascertained if the species experiences senescence. Future directions for ageing research using A. islandica are discussed.

Keywords

Bivalves Model organism Negligible senescence Arctica islandica 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a Research into Ageing™ Discipline Hoppers Award [grant number 319].

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Ocean Sciences, College of Natural SciencesBangor UniversityMenai BridgeUK

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