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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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To: null and void
"The separate patches of seagrass in the Mediterranean span almost 10 miles..."

Two Mexicans would still offer to mow that for about $32.

21 posted on 02/07/2012 10:02:44 AM PST by Mich Patriot (I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself. Ronald Reagan)
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To: null and void
but it has now begun to decline due to global warming

Fifteen years with NO detectable global warming...but it gets the blame anyway.

Anyone else smell an agenda here?

22 posted on 02/07/2012 10:03:17 AM PST by capt. norm (Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never run out of material. c)
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To: SkyDancer

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

Huh?...can i have some of what you are smoking :)


23 posted on 02/07/2012 10:06:21 AM PST by BubbaJunebug
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To: null and void


24 posted on 02/07/2012 10:06:52 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: null and void

If this sea grass is 12,000 years old, it survived several climate extremes, like the so-called little ice age and medieval warming period-if it is more than 12,000 years old, then it has been around through some really nasty events-ice ages, huge volcanic eruptions like Toba, etc. If it is hardy enough to survive in amounts large enough to re-multiply in more seagrass friendly times, then I don’t really think we need to worry about it...


25 posted on 02/07/2012 10:06:58 AM PST by Texan5 ("You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: null and void
The analysis, ... found the seagrass was between 12,000 and 200,000 years old

Is this what passes for engineering analytical precision these days?

26 posted on 02/07/2012 10:07:01 AM PST by dartuser ("If you are ... what you were ... then you're not.")
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To: null and void

As the water warms, the organisms move slowly to higher altitudes.


wouldn’t rising sea levels create a higher altitude?


27 posted on 02/07/2012 10:09:18 AM PST by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: BubbaJunebug

Not smoking but hanging out with three of my male friends: Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker :)


28 posted on 02/07/2012 10:09:47 AM PST by SkyDancer ("Never Have Regrets Because At The Time It Was Exactly What You Wanted")
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To: dartuser

“Is this what passes for engineering analytical precision these days?”

Close enough for government work.


29 posted on 02/07/2012 10:10:23 AM PST by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: null and void

If it has survived for 200,000 years it has lived through several warming and cooling periods and will come through whatever this is just fine.


30 posted on 02/07/2012 10:11:09 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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To: SkyDancer

Works for me :)


31 posted on 02/07/2012 10:11:52 AM PST by BubbaJunebug
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To: null and void
Seriously, though, are they saying that all or part of the currently living part of this patch of sea grass is 200,000 years old? Or, are they saying that the overall patch of grass itself might have been in existence for 200,000 years, with repeated cycles of emergence, growth, reproduction and death?

I only ask, because if NO portion of the currently living patch of sea grass is actually 200,000 years old, then claiming that the patch of grass is that old is analogous to a descendant of George Washington claiming that he owns the actual hatchet used by our first president to cut down the cherry tree.

Yes, in fact the hatchet has been in the family for generations. They've never treated it like a museum piece, and each successive generation has used the hatchet for its intended purpose. Sure, the hatchet's handle has gotten broken quite a few times over the years and has been replaced as needed; and, of course, as many times as the blade has been sharpened, several heads have been worn away to to the point where THEY needed to be replaced -- but it's definitely George Washington's!

32 posted on 02/07/2012 10:13:21 AM PST by WayneS (Comments now include 25% MORE sarcasm for no additional charge...)
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To: 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.

Hmmmm, I'm the oldest one in my immediate family, and I have begun to decline ...... must be Global Warming!

I'm now fully convinced by their arguments.

(beating drum and chanting)

STOP GLOBAL WARMING!

STOP MY DECLINE!

STOP GLOBAL WARMING!

SAVE COL FREEPER!

STOP GLOBAL WARMING!

[Pssst, all you declining FReeper oldsters better quickly get in on this movement so that you can stop your decline too.]

33 posted on 02/07/2012 10:13:32 AM PST by Col Freeper (FR is a smorgasbord of Conservative thoughts and ideas - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: Col Freeper

Too late.


34 posted on 02/07/2012 10:17:24 AM PST by null and void (Day 1114 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: null and void

It’s lasted this long and now we have 0 to screw it up.

Bye-bye grass.


35 posted on 02/07/2012 10:20:50 AM PST by TribalPrincess2U (NOT VOTING gets 0bamao re-elected. Lets Newter the RINOS, then the Blank.)
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To: null and void

bristlecone pines
aspen stands
creosote bushes
fungal colonies
Helen Thomas
and now seaweed.


36 posted on 02/07/2012 10:21:55 AM PST by SpaceBar
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To: seanmerc
HELEN THOMAS ping. :D

37 posted on 02/07/2012 10:24:05 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Kill the terrorists, Protect (all) the borders, ridicule all the (remaining) Liberals :^)
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To: WayneS
-- but it's definitely George Washington's!

Of course it is, it occupies the same space!

On the other hand, if George Washington

38 posted on 02/07/2012 10:42:27 AM PST by Max in Utah (A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.)
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To: null and void

It is laughable the predictions of man made global warming.

There was a scientist on the radio last night tyring to explain why the severe winter predicted for this year did not happen (arctic oscilation, expected to negative was very positiv i.e. going west to east across your North American continent). The guy would not even speculate on what the weather would be next week, but these nut cases are proclaimiong 3 degrees warmer in a few hundred years.


39 posted on 02/07/2012 10:43:30 AM PST by School of Rational Thought
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To: Pollster1

Great graphic! Do you have a link to the source?


40 posted on 02/07/2012 10:48:42 AM PST by Islander7 (There is no septic system so vile, so filthy, the left won't drink from to further their agenda)
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To: Max in Utah

... was cloned repeatedly over thousands of years, he might not end up being the same guy who owned the hatchet.


41 posted on 02/07/2012 10:54:36 AM PST by Max in Utah (A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.)
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To: null and void


These seagrass beds can't be more than 8,000 years old.
42 posted on 02/07/2012 10:57:23 AM PST by CtBigPat (Free Republic - The grown-ups table of the internet.)
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43 posted on 02/07/2012 11:06:35 AM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: null and void
Too late.

LOL.

OH Noes!

44 posted on 02/07/2012 11:18:22 AM PST by Col Freeper (FR is a smorgasbord of Conservative thoughts and ideas - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: Snickering Hound

You are bad. You are sooooooo bad! You are beyond bad.


45 posted on 02/07/2012 11:26:32 AM PST by Hostage (The revolution needs a spark. The Constitution is dead.)
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To: CtBigPat
If Creation Science, (which depends on observed fact a lot more than Darwinian Science), is correct, and the planet is about 6,000 years old, for 6000 years the sea level has been at approximately... zero change. Go figure.

That is my primary problem with modern science, nobody checks anything anymore, what ever lends to your personal fancy is now a fact, the stronger with more zeros added. Most science these days is shoveling nothing in a bucket to fill it up, on grant money of course.

46 posted on 02/07/2012 11:30:28 AM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: BubbaJunebug

In bartender talk they’re called “The Three Wise Men” just ask for one.


47 posted on 02/07/2012 11:53:11 AM PST by SkyDancer ("Never Have Regrets Because At The Time It Was Exactly What You Wanted")
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To: null and void

......................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..........................

Yet shoreline construction and declining water quality has not been cited as the cause - manmade glo-bull climate change takes the headline.

What total bull-—t!


48 posted on 02/07/2012 12:06:51 PM PST by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
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To: null and void
a patch of ancient seagrass in the Mediterranean is up to 200,000 years and could be the oldest known living thing on Earth...
say it is one of the world's most resilient organisms - but it has now begun to decline due to global warming.

Pure unadulterated BS!

These idiots conveniently forget the prior "global warming" periods of the last 200,000 years?

Gheez, Louise.
Give me a break!

49 posted on 02/07/2012 12:28:44 PM PST by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: Pollster1

I’m not sure I like the last 1/8 inch.


50 posted on 02/07/2012 12:43:01 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL WASHINGTON! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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