SYDNEY, Australia – An asexual seagrass living in the Mediterrenean is said to be the oldest living creature. A study led by Australian scientists on samples of the giant seagrass Posidonia oceanic has sequenced the plant’s DNA and they found that the seagrass is at least 100,ooo years old.
Prof Carlos Duarte from the University of Western Australia said the plant has been able to reach such an old age because it can reproduce itself asexually and “generate clones of itself.” The species that was previously believed to be the oldest on the planet is a 43,000-year-old Tasmanian plant.
Still, the the seagrass is in decline in the Mediterrenean due to climate change. “As the water warms, the organisms move slowly to higher altitudes. The Mediterrenean is locked to the north by the European continent,” Duarte told The Daily Telegraph. ”They cannot move. The outlook is very bad.”