Scientists have found a female sixteen-foot Greenland shark that could be up to 512 years old, and some sustain biggest members of the species could be nearly six centuries old. The finding was reporter on Science by Julius Nielsen, a marine biologist at the University of Copenhagen.
Headlines circulating on the internet Thursday described the discovery as a 512-year-old shark, but this is not correct. The discover didn’t identify a 500 years old female Greenland shark, as the analysis suggested that the examined species were at least 272 years old and could potentially be over 500 years old.
The scientist team analysed the lens and the cornea with a mathematical model to predict the age. Shark lenses are formed in the uterus, and what whatever the shark mother ate made its way into the offspring. Scientists are able to understand what environment was like before the shark was even born by measuring the radiocarbon isotopes.
The fact that Greenland sharks can live up to centuries is not totally new. Earlier this year, Kim Praebel, a professor at the Arctic University of Norway, found that these creatures could have a lifespan of 400 years. The scientist team leaded by Nielsen just find Greenland sharks could live longer.