According to Science News, scientists have recently confirmed that the Greenland shark is the longest-lived vertebrate on earth, with a maximum lifespan of at least 400 years.
The Greenland Shark is one of the largest sharks and is often found in cold waters near the poles on Earth. Due to its ugly appearance, slow movement and poisonous meat, it has not received much attention for a long time, and Science A report in News made this shark appear on the headlines of major media at the same time.
Among all animals, only the Arctic clam has a lifespan of more than 400 years, with previous reports saying it reached 507 years.
The biology of Greenland sharks is currently poorly understood, making it challenging to know how old these long-lived sharks are. In the 1930s, fish biologists tagged a total of 400 sharks. The only result was that they found that these sharks grew about 1 centimeter per year. However, scientists at the time were unable to determine their age.
Long after this, marine biologist John Steffensen from the University of Copenhagen tried to find evidence of age in the vertebrae of Greenland sharks. However, in the end he still did not find the “annual rings” he was looking for.
So Stephenson turned to radiocarbon dating expert Jan Heinemeier from Aarhus University in Denmark. Heinemeier’s suggestion is to study the lens of a shark’s eye and measure the carbon isotopes inside it.