AnAge entry for Arctica islandica

Arctica islandica is a species with negligible senescence

Classification (HAGRID: 04631)

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Mollusca
        Class: Bivalvia (Taxon entry)
            Order: Venerida
                Family: Arcticidae
                    Genus: Arctica
Arctica islandica
Common name
Ocean quahog clam
Cyprina islandica

Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits

Not yet available
No MRDT detected
Maximum longevity
507 years (wild)
ref. 1086
Sample size
Data quality

The ocean quahog clam shows exceptional longevity. One specimen called "Ming" was estimated to live up to 507 years in the wild [1086]. One study found that in animals aged 4-192 years, antioxidant enzymes declined rapidly in the first 25 years, which includes the growth and sexual maturity stages, but afterwards remained stable for over 150 years [0829]. In addition, the level of oxidatively damaged proteins in the heart does not change significantly up to 120 years of age [1162].

The ocean quahog clam has very high proteome stability, especially in comparison to short-lived mammals. In one study it was demonstrated these animals had no increase in global proteome unfolding in response to several stressors [1163]. The extreme maximum lifespan of the ocean quahog clam appears to be independent of telomere dynamics. Telomere lengths show no change with age, with no significant differences between populations and tissues. Telomerase activity is also highly heterogenous and does not correlate with age or population habitat [1164]. A study that measured four age-related damage markers (protein oxidation, lipid oxidation, nucleic acid oxidation, and protein stability) reported that only nucleic acid oxidation accumulates with age in these animals [1165]. Though more detailed studies are warranted, it appears this species is a case of negligible senescence.

Life history traits (averages)

Female sexual maturity
4,562 days
Male sexual maturity
4,780 days
Adult weight


No information on metabolism is available.


External Resources

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
ITIS 81343
Animal Diversity Web
ADW account (if available)
Encyclopaedia of Life
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NCBI Taxonomy
Taxonomy ID 59239
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Ageing Literature
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