A Greenland shark found in the North Atlantic ocean is estimated to be up to 512 years old. The mammal is believed to be the oldest living vertebrate which has been discovered and it is being said that it could be older than Shakespeare. According to researchers, its year of birth could be as early as 1505. Greenland sharks grow only 1cm a year and are known for living for hundreds of years. According to experts, the shark measures 18ft and was the oldest in a group of 28 Greenland shark which was analysed for the study. According to a study in journal Science, researchers used radiocarbon to determine its age as between 272 and 512 years old.
Earlier this year, professor Kim Praebel, from the Arctic University of Norway found that Greenland sharks could live up to 400 years. But with the new study, it seems that these sharks can live even longer. Reportedly, marine biologist Julius Nielsen found that a sixteen-foot female he and his team had been studying was at least 272 years old, and could also be as much as 512 years old. Scientists used a research published nine years ago to look at lens crystallines, a class of proteins found in the human eye. Crystallines contain carbon, including trace amounts of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 which remains stable throughout an animal’s life.
Here is the Greenland shark:
The researchers used a mathematical model analysing the lens and the cornea that determine size with age to predict age. And with the findings, reports suggest that the shark would have been alive during the sinking of the Titanic and historical events like the founding of the United States and the Napoleonic wars. Also, a study by the Arctic University of Norway of its bones and tissue may provide clues about the effects of climate change and how over a period of time pollution has affected it.