This 512-Year-Old GreenLand Shark Is The Oldest Living Vertebrate On The Planet

It's difficult to envision anything still alive that was born in 1505. That was the year that Martin Luther became into a monk and King Henry VIII canceled his commitment with Catherine of Aragon... so, a bloody long time prior.

But that's exactly what scientists believe they have found in the form of one massive Greenland shark swimming in the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean.

The shark is estimated to be up to 512 years old, which would make it the oldest living vertebrate in the planet and even older than Shakespeare. And you thought turning 30 made you ancient.

Greenland sharks have been known to live for hundreds of years and consume most of their lives swimming around searching for a mate. That is enormous time to wait.  

They also grow at a rate of one centimeter a year, empowering researchers to determine their age by calculating their size.

This specific shark, one of 28 Greenland sharks to be study by the researchers, was estimated at 18 feet length and weighed over a ton, which means it could be somewhere in the range of 272 and 512 years of age.

The shark's potential age was revealed in an investigation in the Science diary, as indicated by the Sun.

If researchers have got the shark's age right, it would have been alive amid major historical occasions like the establishing of the US, the Industrial Revolution and both World Wars. Crikey.

Greenland sharks generally eat fish yet have never really been watched hunting. Some have even been found to have reindeer and even pony stays in their stomachs. The animal is a delicacy in Norway however its substance is toxic if not treated appropriately

In view of their life span, scholastics in Norway trust that the bones and tissues of Greenland sharks may give us understanding into the effect of climate change and contamination over a long period of history.

Scientists at the Arctic University of Norway are at present mapping the animals  DNA, looking at its gander to study more about what decides life expectancy in various species, including humans.

The same number of the sharks pre-date the Industrial Revolution and huge scale commercial fishing, the sharks have even been called 'living time capsules' that could help shed light on how human behavior impacts the oceans.

"The longest living vertebrate species on earth has framed a few populaces in the Atlantic Ocean," said Professor Kim Praebel at a symposium sorted out by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

"This is vital to know, so we can develop appropriate conservation actions for this vital species." 

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