AUG 28, 2016 10:07 AM PDT

This Greenland Shark Might be the World's Oldest Vertebrate

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

A shark that was reeled in from the ocean waters surrounding the land mass we know as Greenland has been given an age figure well above 300 years, potentially making this the new record-breaker for longest-living vertebrate.
 
The shark, dubbed the Greenland Shark for the region where it was caught, was pulled in from the water by accident while a fishing ship was making its runs.
 

A live Greenland Shark that was released back into the wild by the fishing boat crew.

 Image Credit: Julius Nielsen/Reuters

Because the shark was already deceased, it gave scientists the ability to try and put an age on it, along with some others that were caught. The grand total of Greenland Sharks that were dated chalked up to about 28. They ranged in size from 51-502cm.
 
The findings from the dating process appear in the journal Science.
 
The scientists reportedly used a not-so-common dating process that requires samples of eye tissue. At least eight of them were under 200 years old, but two were well over 300 years old and the rest fell somewhere in between.
 
The largest of the specimens had an age estimate of 392 ± 120.
 
If true, this means the Greenland Shark has reached a new record of age for known vertebrates. The 300+ figure beats the 211-year record that was previously set by a Bowhead Whale.
 
According to the study, this species grows very slowly as it ages. It’s possible that they reach maturity at somewhere around 150 years of age.
 
Not all dating processes are 100% accurate, so the biologists are careful to explain that it’s no more than an estimate. These age numbers are possible, but they’re not guaranteed to be 100% correct.
 
Even if the shark wasn’t really 300+ years old, Biologists say that it was at least 272 years old when it had died, which is still a record-breaking number.
 
Those species of old turtles that you’ve always grown up to know to be some of the oldest-living vertebrates in the world may not actually be anymore, as science has made it possible to date other creatures that have lived longer than we have.

Source: Reuters

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
JUL 27, 2020
Plants & Animals
Ghost Crabs Produce Sounds in Stomachs
JUL 27, 2020
Ghost Crabs Produce Sounds in Stomachs
Research from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and University ...
AUG 04, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
A Hybrid Animal - the Sturddlefish - Is Created
AUG 04, 2020
A Hybrid Animal - the Sturddlefish - Is Created
Scientists, for reasons that are unclear, mixed eggs and sperm from two different species of fish and ended up creating ...
AUG 05, 2020
Microbiology
Revealing the Secrets of a Symbiotic Relationship
AUG 05, 2020
Revealing the Secrets of a Symbiotic Relationship
Some salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) have a strange relationship with a type of alga (Oophila amblystomatis): they are ...
OCT 27, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Bird abundance falling in remote parts of the Amazon
OCT 27, 2020
Bird abundance falling in remote parts of the Amazon
A new study published in Ecology Letters has documented a consistent fall in biodiversity in the Amazon. The scient ...
NOV 07, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
How the Suction Cups on Octopus Arms Detect Their Surroundings
NOV 07, 2020
How the Suction Cups on Octopus Arms Detect Their Surroundings
Scientists have taken a close look at the physiology of the octopus, creatures that are ancient and unique. Their arms c ...
Loading Comments...