New Delhi: A shark located by scientists in the icy Arctic waters may be the oldest living vertebrate in the world, it is being claimed.
Estimated to be up to 512-years-old (meaning it was born before Shakespeare), the shark weighs more than a tonne and could have been born as early as 1505… the year Martin Luther became a monk, and King Henry VIII called off his engagement with Catherine of Aragon, scientists have said.
The Greenland shark lives in -1C to 10C waters and can swim as deep as 7,200ft.
In exactly 1 hr and 7 minutes a satellite tag will pop-off from this Greenland shark female, it will float to the surface and establish contact with an Argos satellite. It will then transmit information on position as well as occupied temperatures the past 3 months. By tomorrow morning I will hopefully have the data which just can make it into my PhD before ending in four weeks. All of this (except handing in PhD in four weeks) will however only happen IF 1) the shark is not under sea ice (which would inhibit satellite transmission), 2) the sea is not too rough where the shark is which could lead to that the tag cap can’t be exposed properly in the air or 3) that the shark has not been deeper than 2,000 m which would have crushed the tag and destroyd it.... it also requires that there is no annoying animal eating the tag before we get the data which happened to us on a previous deployment. FINGERS CROSSED #greenlandsharkproject Photo credit: Takuji Noda
As per a report in the Metro UK, this particular marine animal was measured at 18ft in length, meaning it could be anywhere between 272 to 512-years-old.
How do they know? This particular species grows at a rate of 1cm a year.
According to The Sun, the shark’s potential age was revealed in a study in journal Science. It was the oldest of 28 Greenland sharks to be analysed. Greenland sharks have an estimated life span of 400 years, and usually spend their time swimming around looking for a mate.