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'Oldest living thing on earth' discovered
The Telegraph ^ | 1:06PM GMT 07 Feb 2012 | Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney

Posted on 02/07/2012 9:45:53 AM PST by null and void

Scientists say a patch of ancient seagrass in the Mediterranean is up to 200,000 years and could be the oldest known living thing on Earth. Australian researchers, who genetically sampled the seagrass covering 40 sites from Spain to Cyprus, say it is one of the world's most resilient organisms - but it has now begun to decline due to global warming.

The analysis, published in the journal PLos ONE, found the seagrass was between 12,000 and 200,000 years old and was most likely to be at least 100,000 years old. This is far older than the current known oldest species, a Tasmanian plant that is believed to be 43,000 years old.

Prof Carlos Duarte, from the University of Western Australia, said the seagrass has been able to reach such old age because it can reproduce asexually and generate clones of itself. Organisms that can only reproduce sexually are inevitably lost at each generation, he added.

"They are continually producing new branches," he told The Daily Telegraph. "They spread very slowly and cover a very large area giving them more area to mine resources. They can then store nutrients within their very large branches during bad conditions for growth."

The separate patches of seagrass in the Mediterranean span almost 10 miles and weigh more than 6,000 tons.

"The seagrass in the Mediterranean is already in clear decline due to shoreline construction and declining water quality and this decline has been exacerbated by climate change. As the water warms, the organisms move slowly to higher altitudes. The Mediterranean is locked to the north by the European continent.

"They cannot move. The outlook is very bad."

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; oldestlivingthing; seagrass
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IBTHTP
1 posted on 02/07/2012 9:46:00 AM PST by null and void
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To: null and void

Ah, ok.

Thought this was a Nancy Pelosi thread.


2 posted on 02/07/2012 9:47:22 AM PST by Para-Ord.45
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To: null and void

Why was I expecting to see a picture of Helen Thomas?


3 posted on 02/07/2012 9:47:48 AM PST by JaguarXKE
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To: null and void

Please, please, please....no pictures of Helen Thomas.


4 posted on 02/07/2012 9:48:21 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: null and void

5 posted on 02/07/2012 9:49:53 AM PST by OSHA (One despises and wants to destroy the United States, the other is a dead terrorist.)
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To: Para-Ord.45

As God is my witness, my first thought on reading the title was that whatever the old thing was, it was being killed by glo-bull warming. I just knew that would be what this was about.

Plus a range of between 12,000 and 200,000? Darn nice of you to narrow it down so much there!


6 posted on 02/07/2012 9:50:01 AM PST by RonInNaples
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To: null and void
"They cannot move. The outlook is very bad."

So what. They are only clones.

7 posted on 02/07/2012 9:51:08 AM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: null and void

We should declare it a protected species and build an undersea 30’ concrete berm around it.

It’s a weed for cryin’ out loud!
Let it evolve or die.


8 posted on 02/07/2012 9:52:05 AM PST by bossmechanic (If all else fails, hit it with a hammer)
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To: OSHA

I would have bet the farm that the first picture up would have been Helen Thomas.


9 posted on 02/07/2012 9:52:16 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: null and void

Helen Thomas Ping!


10 posted on 02/07/2012 9:52:39 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he'll just kill you." John Steinbeck)
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To: null and void; SunkenCiv
global warming

....I STOPPED READING RIGHT THERE! LOL...hell, almost pinged the GGG list.

11 posted on 02/07/2012 9:53:18 AM PST by DCBryan1 (Id rather have a man who wrecked his marriage as POTUS than a man who wrecked his country!)
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To: null and void

12 posted on 02/07/2012 9:53:57 AM PST by Snickering Hound
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To: null and void
Scientists say a patch of ancient seagrass in the Mediterranean... ...could be the oldest known living thing on Earth.

So then, Helen Thomas has died?

13 posted on 02/07/2012 9:54:03 AM PST by WayneS (Comments now include 25% MORE sarcasm for no additional charge...)
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To: null and void

At 200,000 years, the thing would have gone through long periods of bigger warming, and very cold periods. Yet, in a period of relatively cool weather, those people would have us believe that, they can’t take it anymore?

The global warming crowd is getting more pathetic and more desperate each day.


14 posted on 02/07/2012 9:54:56 AM PST by adorno
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To: null and void

It's over 12,000 years old, possibly over 125,000 years old, and today's temperatures are killing it. Interesting theory. It's very weak on scientific plausibility, but interesting that anyone would pretend to believe it.

15 posted on 02/07/2012 9:56:03 AM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: null and void

You mean I was wrong... HELEN THOMAS is NOT the oldest living thing on the planet???


16 posted on 02/07/2012 9:58:59 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12, don't blame 0 for tearing up the CONSTITUTION!!)
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To: null and void

200,000 years old? How can that be when it’s only 2012????


17 posted on 02/07/2012 9:59:31 AM PST by SkyDancer ("Never Have Regrets Because At The Time It Was Exactly What You Wanted")
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To: Pollster1

bflr


18 posted on 02/07/2012 10:00:03 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Snickering Hound

Oh man - ROFL!!!


19 posted on 02/07/2012 10:00:03 AM PST by Enterprise ("Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire)
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To: null and void
" ... say it is one of the world's most resilient organisms - but it has now begun to decline due to global warming."

Of course there's always that evil man-made global warming terrorizing this pristine "resilient organism."

20 posted on 02/07/2012 10:02:16 AM PST by StormEye
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