Danish scientists captured a shark that is 512 years old! It means that it had been born before William Shakespeare. This shark is the oldest vertebrate on the planet.
The experts determined its age thanks to its legth - 5.5 m. It turned out to be older that the 28 Greenland sharks that they had caught earlier.
The animal was caught in the Northern Atlantic by Julius Nielsen, Copenhagen University, who works with marine biologists.
It's known that this kind of sharks grow 1 cm per year. This species reach puberty at around 150 years. No hurry...
Before they've found this long-liver, a 392-year-old shark was considered to be the oldest on the planet.
Apparently, this shark witnessed the creation of the US, World wars, the Titanic wreckage and thousands of other important events all over the world. Well, not quite witnessed, but was alive at that time.
Greenland sharks eat fish, but they've never been spotted hunting. Deers, horses, moose and polar bears have been found in their stomachs over the years.
In Iceland their meat is considered a delicacy, but at the same time it's pretty toxic.
Professor Kim Prebel said that these sharks could shed some light on the human impact on the ocean. Many of these animals "remember" the times before the industrial revolution.
Stephen Kempen, an expert in sharks from the Iceland University, said, "Biologists have been trying to determine the age and longevity of Greenland sharks for decades, but didn't succeed. Considering that this shark is a predator, it is almost unbelievable that we have no idea how long it lives, 20 years or a 1000 years."
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