Watch: Rare Footage Of Greenland Shark Alive For Over 500 Years Old - Beyond The World
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Watch: Rare Footage Of Greenland Shark Alive For Over 500 Years Old

Scientists made a surprising discovery when they discovered a shark that was estimated to be at least 392 years old. Yes, a Greenland shark has been discovered in the Arctic region, and it may be the world’s oldest living animal. The findings were reported in the journal Science.

The researchers measured the creature and calculated that it may have been born as early as 1505. These creatures, which can swim as deep as 7,200 feet and weigh more than a tonne, are known to live in temperatures as low as -1 degree Celsius.

You’re looking at an 11-foot Greenland shark, photographed in Arctic Bay, Baffin Island. Oddly enough, the Greenland shark wasn’t photographed live under water until 1995, partially due to the fact that they’ve been observed 2,200 meters deep. These guys are also quite slow, motoring along at an average speed of 0.76 mph. Sharks are at risk due to habitat loss, bycatch (accidental catch in fishing gear) and a high demand for their fins. #SharkAwarenessDay 📷© National Geographic Stock / Nick Caloyianis / WWF

According to sources, the shark was 18 feet long. Because this species grows at a rate of 1 centimeter each year, its length apparently indicates that the shark might be anywhere between 272 and 512 years old.

It is the oldest of the 28 Greenland sharks examined. These sharks have a 400-year lifetime and spend their time swimming about hunting for partners.

Greenland sharks won’t reach sexual maturity until they’re 150.

However, identifying the exact age of the Greenland shark is a difficult task. The researchers employed a technique known as eye lens radiocarbon dating. All vertebrates’ eye lenses continue to grow with the animal throughout its life, accumulating layers like an onion. Atmospheric tests of thermonuclear weapons in the late 1950s created a large and easily visible increase in the amount of radiocarbon that finally made its way into the oceans. Scientists refer to this as the ‘bomb pulse,’ and it has proven a useful method for determining the age of marine species. If the amount of radiocarbon in a shark’s lens corresponds to post-bomb-pulse values, the animal was born after 1960.

The eye lens proteins of the two smallest of the 28 Greenland sharks contained the highest quantities of carbon-14, indicating that they were born after the early 1960s, according to the researchers. The third smallest shark, on the other hand, had carbon-14 levels that were just marginally higher than those of the 25 larger sharks, indicating that it was born in the early 1960s.

It is unclear why Greenland sharks live for such a long time. Scientists hypothesize that it could be in their genes, or that they live in relatively cold temperatures and have a slow metabolism.

This species’ range is primarily limited to the waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The Greenland shark is an apex predator that mostly feeds on fish. It’s never been seen hunting. Smaller sharks, skates, eels, herring, capelin, Arctic char, cod, rosefish, sculpins, lumpfish, wolffish, and flounder have all been caught. Greenland sharks have also been found with seal, polar bear, horse, moose, and reindeer remains (including a complete reindeer body) in their stomachs. The Greenland shark is a scavenger that is drawn to the smell of rotting meat in the sea.

We may not know why these mysterious creatures live such long lives, but we may hope that these vertebrates will enhance conservation efforts to protect the species and its habitat. Now that we’ve discovered these magnificent creatures, it’s up to us to protect them for future generations.

Source: Caters Clips
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