How Old?

Just how old are animals? We refer to “our Robin” or “our Blackbird” year after year when the truth is that most small birds and animals have incredibly short lives.

I know that mammals have long lives but this story surprised me.

Apparently scientists have just extracted a fragment of a weapon (a time delay bomb) from a bowhead whale that was manufactured between 1879 & 1885. The scientists reckon that the wound was inflicted in 1890. This would put the whale at 107 and it would have been quite a few years old at the time and could have been around at the time of the US Civil War.

The bowhead whale was killed by indigenous hunters off Alaska as part of their subsistence quota.

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2 comments so far

  1. diddums on

    My goodness – that’s both sad and interesting. Poor whale to get shot (the shell must have given it gyp for decades), yet it gave us some data and a bit of history coming back to haunt us.

  2. diddums on

    PS: what am I doing? Old blog post!


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