The Oldest Shark Ever: 512 Year Old Shark Revealed
Did you know that scientists have recently discovered a shark species that easily lives to be hundreds of years old?
In fact, the oldest shark of this species is estimated to be about 512 years old! Check out some footage of it by clicking HERE now.
For the vidoe version of this post click HERE.
Meet The Greenland Shark
The "Greenland Shark" species has recently shocked scientists, and they're deemed some of the world's most fascinating creatures.
The reason for this claim is that these sharks regularly live to be several centuries years old. In addition to a 512 year old shark, several others living to be 200-300 years old were discovered as well.
Scientists can determine a creature's age by checking its bone structure, growth rate, as well as radiation levels (this is a bit more complex so well skip this).
One of the Greenland Sharks has lived to be roughly 512 years old. This means that the shark was born just around the tmie Columbus first sailed to North America.
About The Greenland Shark
Greenland sharks are native to the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans, and can grow to be 24 feet (7 meters). They weigh about 2,645 pounds of 1,200 kilograms.
They'er actually one of the slowest moving fish in the world. They cruise at about 1 foot per second or .3 meters a second, and can't go much faster than that.
They are apex predators, however this baffles scientists because how they hunt isn't well known. These creatures move so slow that all other fish, seals, etc. would be able to easily escape them.
How Do They Grow To Be So Old?
Scientists have a few ideas for why they think these sharks grow to be so old.
First, the cold water is thought ot prevent aging. Cold water therapy is actually used (ie. cold plunge) on humans and is highly effective.
Second, they have an extremely slow metabolism. They are slow creatures, both in their movement and growth- this means that they also take a long time to pass away.
For exapmle, they only grow a couple of inches per year.
In fact, it takes them a whole 150 years to reach sexual maturity. That would be the human equivalent of waiting 150 years just to reach age 16.
By the time they're sexually mature, many generations of humans have already came and gone...
Greenland Shark Diet & Hunting
The Greenland Shark is the apex predator which means no one else hunts the Greenland Shark (with the exception of humans, however hunting these creatures is illegal).
Hunting from the Greenland Shark has never yet been observed. They swim so slow that scientists are confused as to how they actually hunt.
Some people think that they are more like scavengers, eating from the dead remains of animals that have passed away.
Another hypothesis is that they work together to surprise sleeping seals. This is the only possible way they could hunt seals because otherwise they are too slow to catch a seal.
All this being said, all kind sof fish, polar bears, seals, and even a whole reindeer have been found in their stomachs. They certainly eat a lot of meat, but how they exactly do it is not yet understood.
Greenland Shark Fun Facts
In most creatures the males are larger than the females. The greenland shark is opposite; females are larger than males.
Greenland Shark flesh is toxic because it has high concentrations of a chemical known as trimethylamine oxide (TMAO).
Dogs that have been observed eating the fleshy remains of these sharks enter a state like extreme drunkedness. Many have been observed completely falling over due to the effect of eating this shark's flesh.
The only known country that feasts on this shark is Iceland. They use a special process to get rid of the toxins, and it's actually considered a delicacy there.
We hope you enjoyed this post, have a great day!
-Wildlife x Team International