I had no idea clams lived this long. I would have guessed they lived a matter of a season or two with the way they give clamming licenses out at Wellfleet. I just listened to the story on NPR where the scientist said they had to kill it to determine the age. "There's lot more around up in Greenland," he explained when the host queried their actions.
And sure, you bloody scientists will kill them all too--a contest to find the oldest will ensue. Why do we need to know a clam's age? If it isn't polite to ask about age, where's the good manners in killing them to determine it.
How would the marine biologist like it if we cut him up to count his rings?