As new dating techniques have revealed, one venerable bigmouth buffalo Ictiobus cyprinellus - we're calling her Grandma Fish - lived to be around years old. That's older than the species' previous estimated life expectancy of 26 years, by more than a factor of four. Moreover, this newly discovered age exceeds the life expectancy of any known freshwater fish by nearly 40 years.
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The oldest known saltwater fish - and vertebrate - is the Greenland shark Somniosus microcephalus , which can live for centuries. Sadly, the same techniques that revealed the tremendous longevity of these fish have also revealed their desperate straits.
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But what we've learned from the death of Grandma Fish could help save the species. Biologists had suspected that bigmouth buffalo might live for longer than we knew, so they set out to discover just how old these animals can get.
Between and , they caught a large number of fish for data collection. Some of the specimens were photographed, measured, sexed, and tagged before being released back in the wild, so the team could measure changes over time. Another specimens weren't so lucky, and were dissected to determine their age.
The researchers took thin shavings of their otoliths - calcium carbonate structures in the ears of bony fish that help them balance. Otoliths are a bit like trees, in that a new layer is added at regular intervals ; these can be counted to estimate the animal's age, although an additional method is useful, since the intervals can vary from fish to fish.
In this study, the otolith rings gave an initial result of 80 to 90 years - a stunning number, since until then, the oldest freshwater bony fish was a freshwater drum Aplodinotus grunniens , whose otolith, obtained from an archaeological site, returned an age of 73 years. To verify the initial result on their bigmouth buffalo, the researchers then used bomb carbon dating, a technique that exists thanks to the atomic bomb testing in the middle of the 20th century. And I get to hold her for the first time tomorrow. So exciting! I mean, would you date a grandmother?
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Grandparenting can bring out a whole other side of a person. A softer, gentler, more vulnerable side, which is beautiful, right? You enjoy the grandkids, you spoil them, and then you give them back to their parents to deal with the discipline and frustration.
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You can kindly and gently interrupt and say something like,. Then change the topic. Not to tell your life story. Not to share photos of your kids or grandkids. That comes later if the relationship grows. I think that being a grandmother, or Mima, will be awesome. I believe it will add a beautiful dimension to my life.
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Are you a grandparent? If so, how has it changed your dating experiences?
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Have you dated a grandparent? Please share your experiences below.
According to the Orthodox Jewish tradition, baby girls are named during the prayer service at the Torah reading. I am sooooo happy for you!