A Florida man is walking along the beach with his family at Alligator Point, Florida when he comes across a massive clam weighing about 2.6 lbs. His initial thought was to make clam chowder and eat it, but after counting the layers on the shell, he sends it off to the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab to find out more. The clam turns out to be about 214 years old, which means it was "born in 1809" according to the lab. Find out what he did with this "old clam."
A Florida man is glad he didn't follow his first instinct to cook up an unusually large clam he finds while walking along Alligator Point with his family on Saturday, 18 February 2023.
Tallahassee Democrat reported that "Americorps member Blaine Parker dug up the mollusk while collecting shellfish to make chowder." His initial thought was, "it is hefty enough to make two servings and has shells large enough to use as bowls to serve it in."
Blaine began having second thoughts about eating his unique and special clam, which he named "Aber-clam Lincoln," being that it was found on President's Day weekend. Something about it was special and needed to be examined further.
Blaine Parker is an Eckerd College graduate with a degree in environmental studies and marine science. He also works at a Marine lab, so he can quickly identify when a sea creature is unique.
“We were just going to eat it, but we thought about it a while and figured it was probably pretty special. So, we didn’t want to kill it.” -Blaine Parker (Source: Tallahassee Democrat)
Florida Man on Twitter even tweeted about it (see below), so it must be something.
Blaine Takes Aber-clam Lincoln to his Work to be Analyzed
It just so happens that Blaine works as a specimen collector at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab (GSML), so he decided to take it there to get the measurements and info on the clam.
Gulf Specimen Marine Lab documented Blaine's amazing find in a Facebook post.
The results were fascinating.
For comparison, a typical Quahog clam is usually between 2.8 to 4.3 inches in length and weighs up to half a pound. Blaine Parker's Quahog claim was 6 inches in length and weighed 2.6 pounds!
The clam's shell was analyzed and has 214 layers, indicating it is estimated to be about 214 years old, which would mean it would have been born around 1809. Scientists believe that a mollusk can live this long due to an incredibly low metabolic rate.
The Fate of Aber-clam Lincoln
When it was all said and done, "Aber-clam Lincoln" was given the Presidential treatment by Blaine Parker, who had mercy on the old, living mollusk.
Tallahassee Democrat reported that Blaine Parker decided to release it back into the Gulf of Mexico to live out the rest of its life to the fullest.
“We just figured he won’t live very well in captivity. And I think he’s earned the right to stay out there.” -Blaine Parker (Source: Tallahassee Democrat)
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Call, James. "Clam believed to be 200+ years old - named 'Aber-clam Lincoln' - found at Alligator Point." Tallahassee Democrat. Posted: 26 February 2023. Updated 27 February 2023.
Florida Man account on Twitter: @FloridaMan_
Gulf Specimen Marine Lab (GSML) official Facebook page. Post about Blain Parker and Aber-clam Lincoln. 20 February 2023.
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