In a new paper published in Science, Danish scientists revealed that they may have discovered the oldest living vertebrate on the planet. A Greenland shark that dwells in the North Atlantic and Arctic seas — from eastern Canada to western Russia — could possibly be 512 years old.

The growth rate of Greenland sharks is extremely slow, at about 1 cm (0,3 in) per year. When the 5.4 m (18 ft) shark was spotted by scientists, it was clear that the shark has lived through a few centuries.

A +1000 kg monster tagged and released ?? #greenlandsharkproject

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Radiocarbon dating was used to study the eye lens of 28 Greenland sharks, with radiocarbon dating having 95% accuracy. It was revealed that the oldest shark studied was likely about 392 years old. However, due to the 5% chance of an error in the analysis, the true age could range between 272 and 512 years.

If the data is correct, it could mean that this shark could’ve been alive during the renaissance.

In exactly 1 hr and 7 minutes a satellite tag will pop-off from this Greenland shark female, it will float to the surface and establish contact with an Argos satellite. It will then transmit information on position as well as occupied temperatures the past 3 months. By tomorrow morning I will hopefully have the data which just can make it into my PhD before ending in four weeks. All of this (except handing in PhD in four weeks) will however only happen IF 1) the shark is not under sea ice (which would inhibit satellite transmission), 2) the sea is not too rough where the shark is which could lead to that the tag cap can’t be exposed properly in the air or 3) that the shark has not been deeper than 2,000 m which would have crushed the tag and destroyd it…. it also requires that there is no annoying animal eating the tag before we get the data which happened to us on a previous deployment. FINGERS CROSSED??#greenlandsharkproject Photo credit: Takuji Noda ?

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