Scientists have discovered that the Greenland shark – also known as the gurry or grey shark – may live to be four hundred years old. It may even have a longer lifespan than that. So far they haven’t been able to pin it down. But the oldest specimen they have is calculated to be either two or five centuries of age!
Whether the first, second, or a third guess which has not yet been made is true, the Greenland shark is likely to be the oldest living vertebrate on the planet. Scientists are trying to study its genome so they can better understand why it and other vertebrates (including humans) have the lifespans that they do. That seems to be prying into a subject we’re not meant to understand, but if some beneficial medical advancements come from it, then perhaps their efforts in this area will be worth the study.
In the meantime, have fun learning more about the Greenland shark, readers:
512-Year-Old Shark, Oldest Living Vertebrate, Found In North Atlantic
A group of researchers have found an ancient shark in the North Atlantic, believed to be 512 years old, which could be the oldest living vertebrate in the world. While the ancient animal was discovered months ago, its potential age was revealed in a study published in the journal Science.
Marine biologist Julius Nielsen found an 18-foot Greenland shark his team had been studying was at least 272 years old and possibly as old as 512 years. While the exact time of the discovery remains unknown, the news resurfaced as Neilsen completed his PhD thesis on Greenland sharks.