Sunday, November 17, 2013

507 Year Old Clam

Gathering clams in Pamlico Sound is a popular activity. It's fun, it's relaxing...and it provides delicious, fresh seafood for the dinner table.

Pamlico Sound Clam

I was intrigued by a news article I ran across a few days ago. Apparently scientists have discovered an ocean quahog, Arctica islandica, that was 507 years old (it was only after they opened it,  and therefore killed it, that they realized how old it was!).

Take a look at the photo of the 507 year old clam in this article,, and compare it to one of our Pamlico Sound clams, above. I am certainly no expert, but that Pamlico Sound clam has a lot of rings also, and I think it's only a few years old. 

I guess I just don't understand. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a brief history of the Soundfront Inn, one of the oldest structures on the island. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Was this the only clam on the bottom of ocean scooped up by these stellar STEM scholars? May be everyone on the expedition scooped up a speciemen and we have heard about the "winning" clam. Did they at least make dinner from the harvest, I wonder. When Joel discovered a frozen Mastodon thawing in the Alaskan icebank in the episodic comedy Southern Exposure --the locals upon discovering the news well I don't want to spoil the twist in the show........

  2. Anonymous12:06 PM

    Question, Philip--I just received a catalog of vacation homes from Ocracoke Island Realty, and this year's edition featured many images submitted as part of a photo contest. One image features what I presume to be two river otters on a dock. Are otters indeed native to Ocracoke, or perhaps seasonal visitors there?

    Another question, sparked by a property map that details the village's various "neighborhoods": can you offer insight into the origins of such names as Cat Ridge, Up Trent, Down Creek, Wahab Village, etc?

    As always, thanks.

    1. Otters make regular appearances in Silver Lake. I do not know when they first arrived here. Look for a blog post about otters sometime in the next month.

      It would be a good idea to write a monthly Ocracoke Newsletter about the various areas of the village. By the way, other sources notwithstanding, the area that includes the Community Store is "Around Creek," not "Down Creek."

  3. Anonymous12:29 PM

    a 400 year old clam because of it;s rings? i just looked at some of the clam shells that i brought back from the ocracoke beaches and sound side areas. everyone of them have so many lines on them that you can't count them unless you take a sedative to relax and take the time to so do. i guess that means that all of my clam shells are hundreds of years old as well.....sounds like another "scientific conclusion" is full of cr_p. much like global warming, and the 50 year old climate prediction and the queen anns revenge has been found! no proof on any of that - yet. all of that may be but without any proof all of this is an opinion....i hope they never find out where the "lost" colony is because if they ever find out what happened there would be no need for the play to continue. history will be solved. all myth's killed. everyone wants to be the smartest person in the house.