Scientists have recently discovered a living creature that is over 5 centuries old, making it not only the oldest shark but the oldest living vertebrate on the planet. The Greenland Shark is living in the Northern Atlantic Ocean.

It’s been known for a while that this shark is older than most, but scientists didn’t know how old he was until recently. Now that they’ve discovered his age to be 512 years old, he became the world’s oldest living vertebrate.

Greenland sharks are one of the slowest growing species in the world and reach full maturity at about 150 years old. As a result, they typically live long lives.

According to previous reports, these sharks can easily live past the age of 400 years. It’s estimated that he was born way back in the 1500s.

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But how did the scientists found out how old he is? Although you may think it’s complicated, it’s actually really simple.

Marine biologists measured the amounts of radiocarbon in the shark’s eye lenses to discover his age.

Scientists didn’t measure just one shark. They studied numerous sharks for their research. The field is getting more accurate information, thanks to scientists who work hard.

In the past, measuring any animal’s age was just guesswork, but times have changed. Animals’ size used to be a determining factor for age, however, it’s been shown to be a bad calculation.

Also, the Greenland shark doesn’t stay in the same place for the whole life. They like to roam around, so they’re not limited to just the North Atlantic. However,  they are rarely seen because they live in deep cold waters.

Scientists are still trying to find out why the Greenland shark lives so much longer than other animals, besides their slow-growing nature.

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