Prometheus was the oldest living tree on earth. This tree, a Bristlecone Pine, reached the ripe old age of 4950 years growing on the slopes of the harsh Wheeler Peak of Nevada. In 1964, Donnald Currey was taking core samples of these trees when his core driller broke. Desperate to finish his doctorate, he obtained permission from the Forest Service to cut down one tree to continue his study. He ended up cutting down and killing Prometheus, then the oldest living tree in the world.

The tree now is gone, although a forlorn stump still stares at the desert sky. The oldest surving tree, Methuseleah, is now a youthful 4767 years old. Promethius is now dead, a monument to the fact that even biologists, people who pledge to study the world with a sense of wonder and respect for all life, sometimes do horrifying things