Mar
20
2010

Oldest living trees challenge

Clonal grove of trees considered oldest and heaviest living organism

Aspen grove might be clones
Aspen grove might be clonesCourtesy Al_HikesAZ

I wrote about Earth's tallest, biggest, and oldest trees about four years ago. This week Wired Science had a wonderful gallery of photos and information about Earth's oldest trees.

One of them, Pando, is a 105-acre colony is made of genetically identical trees, called stems, connected by a single root system. This organism is believed to be 80,000 years old (and maybe a million) and weighs 6,615 tons, making Pando the heaviest living organism on earth.

Oldest and largest organism debate

You can read a debate about how other organisms might be larger and older here.

Other candidates for oldest or heaviest living organisms include the possibly larger fungal mats in Oregon, the ancient clonal Creosote bushes, and strands of the clonal marine plant Posidonia oceanica in the Mediterranean Sea.

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