AUG 28, 2016 10:07 AM PDT

This Greenland Shark Might be the World's Oldest Vertebrate

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
SEP 17, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
SEP 17, 2019
The Gene that Helps Plants Fight Climate Change
Large underground networks of roots forage the earth for nutrients and water. Although we have been familiar with this process for a long time, the precise...
SEP 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2019
Paleontologists Describe a Peculiar Duck-Billed Dinosaur Based on Fossils
Millions of years before the dawn of humankind, dinosaurs walked the Earth. While they aren’t around today to tell their side of the story, paleontol...
SEP 17, 2019
Earth & The Environment
SEP 17, 2019
Teen Climate Activist Speaks at French Parliament
Last Thursday, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke in front of the French Parliament as part of a cross-party group about climate change called &...
SEP 17, 2019
Health & Medicine
SEP 17, 2019
A Safer Cannabis Extract Could Help Users Fight Cannabis Dependence
According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 30% of recreational cannabis users in the U.S. may be at risk of having some degree of cannabis...
SEP 17, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
SEP 17, 2019
A New Type of Biofluorescence is Described
There are living creatures that can absorb and reemit light, and its a widespread characteristic among marine animals....
SEP 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2019
Many Birds Migrate at Night, and Now We May Know Why
A plethora of bird species prefer to migrate at night as opposed to during the day, and scientists have long wondered why this is the case. Fortunately, ne...
Loading Comments...