Secret to Long Life May be 400-Year Old Shark

   07.18.17

Greenland sharks are among the longest living creatures on the planet, with some of the massive sharks living to nearly 400 years. That’s why scientists from the Arctic University of Norway are studying DNA from Greenland sharks to learn if the key to long human life may be found in the fish.

The study also may provide information on pollution and even climate change, because of the multi-century life span of the massive sharks, which may reach 16 feet in length.

Not much is known about Greenland sharks, other than they live long in the deep cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, chiefly from Canada to northern Europe. Scientists know the sharks are living time capsules, and hope they could offer information on what earth impact humans have made over the centuries, since some Greenland sharks pre-date the industrial revolution and commercial ocean fishing.

“The longest living vertebrate species on the planet has formed several populations in the Atlantic Ocean,” said Professor Kim Praebel. “This is important, so we can develop appropriate conservation actions for this species.”

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