400-year-old Greenland shark is oldest vertebrate animal

How do you calculate the life time of a Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus)? The life of a Greenland shark can be measured not in years, but in centuries yes. around 400 years and it is the longest-lived vertebrate in the world, a new study says.

Researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine the ages of 28 of the animals, and estimated that one female was about 400 years old. ButĀ could have an age range between 272 to 512 years.

The team found that they grow extremely slowly, less than half an inch (a centimeter) per year, suggesting a life span well beyond those of other vertebrates. Greenland sharks can grow up to 5m in length.

Greenland sharks can be found at depths of more than 1,200 metres in the North Atlantic. According to the reports first underwater photos of a live Greenland shark were only taken in 1995.

According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) there has only been one reported attack of the Greenland shark on a human. Around 1859 in Pond Inlet, Canada. however, it was only a report and was never scientifically investigated or proven.

long-lived-vertebrate-Greenland shark

(Photo Credits: Julius Nielsen)

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