Scientists Discover 512 years old Shark, Which Makes It The Oldest Living Vertebrate On The Planet0
Can there really be a living creature that’s over five centuries old? It may seem impossible, but scientists have discovered one such beast living in the Northern Atlantic Ocean: a Greenland Shark.
It’s long been known that this particular shark is older than most, but scientists had no idea just how old he was until recently. Now that they’ve pinpointed his age to be 512 years old, he’s claimed the title of world’s oldest living vertebrate.
Greenland sharks are one of the slowest growing species in the world, and don’t actually reach full maturity until they’re over 150 years old. Because of this, they typically live for crazy long amounts of time. In fact, previous reports have posited that Greenland sharks can easily live past the age of 400 years.
This 512-year-old shark definitely takes the cake, though. His estimated age means he was born way back in the 1500s!
But how do scientists know how old he is? Especially since he’s still alive.
It’s actually fairly simple.
Marine biologists measured the amounts of radiocarbon in the eye lenses of the Greenland shark to find his age.
The amount of radiocarbon that is present in the eye lenses tells us how old the shark is. The results showed that the shark is definitely one of the world’s most elderly creatures. A wide range of Greenland sharks were also analyzed for the purpose of creating a research paper. These efforts are bringing far more accuracy to a field that has lacked it in the past.
Measuring the age of certain animals is not an exact science but the times are finally changing. The animals’ size was once used to determine their age. This offers a rough estimate but the information is not as concrete as we would like. The Greenland shark does not spend their entire lifetime in the same location either. They may enjoy procreating in the Northern Atlantic waters where this 512 year old shark was found but they are not lingerers by nature.
The Greenland shark doesn’t stay in the same area for its whole life. It’s in their nature to roam around, and so they’re not restricted to just the North Atlantic.
According to their genetic results, it is believed that all of the sharks started off in the same location before deciding to migrate. Scientists are now trying to figure out why the Greenland shark lives for so much longer than all of the other animals they’ve studied.
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