Ecologists have discovered 512-year-old shark
A five-meter shark, which is about 512 years old, caught a group of marine zoologists at the University of Copenhagen off the coast of Greenland. Discovered shark record for life expectancy among vertebrates, writes The Sun.
Length caught shark reaches 5.4 meters, and its age was determined by radiocarbon Dating of the lens of the eye. Analysis error is about 5% for several hundred years.
The shark was examined and released.
University Professor Julius Nielsen and his colleagues have been watching the Greenland sharks. Scientists catch animals attached to them satellite beacons, take microscopic tissue samples and released back into the sea. Beacons scientists are tracking the path of migrating fish throughout the season.
Greenland sharks grow to 7 meters. It is known that the average age of the longest-lived groups of bowhead sharks 272. All the years sharks grow slowly (about 1 cm per year) and until his death able to produce offspring.
Greenland sharks eat fish, even though their stomachs were found the remains of deer and even horses. In Iceland, their meat is considered a delicacy, but must be correctly prepared, otherwise it may become poisonous.
For a long time, the Greenland shark caught in a commercial way, but by the beginning of the XXI century their number was reduced, and trapping is limited. Sharks are sluggish and slow moving, making them easy prey for humans. But among animals, the fish has no enemies.
Greenland sharks are called «time capsule». DNA caught specimens, scientists are trying to understand the mechanism of their longevity and impact of human civilization on the oceans.