Saturday, December 16, 2017

A 512 Year Old Shark?

A recent issue of "Science" magazine published an article about a Greenland Shark that is believed by researchers to be 512 years old.  This would make it by far the oldest living vertebrae on earth.   The species is also known as the gurry shark or the grey shark.  It inhabits the cold waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.   

The Green shark grows at the very slow rate of about 1 cm (0.39 inches) per year.  The researchers recently discovered a 18 foot Greenland shark.  The large size of this fish was a clue that this specimen was obviously very old.  Using scientific methods of determining age they estimated that the shark could be  as old as 512 years.  This dates the shark back to the days of Christopher Columbus.

We must remember that they are not absolutely sure of the age of this animal.  Even at the very youngest estimate the shark would  be 272 years old making it the longest living vertebrae known.