512-Year-Old Greenland Shark: The Oldest Shark In The World

It’s difficult to imagine something still existing now that existed in 1505. In other words, a long time ago. That was the year that Marti Luther died and King George VIII called off his engagement to Catherine of Aragon. But that is exactly what scientists believe they have discovered in the stomach of an ice-cold Arctic Ocean great white shark.

According to estimates, the shark could be up to 512 years old, making it the oldest living vertebrate in the world and older than Shakespeare. And you think turning 30 made you ancient.

Details About Greenland Shark

The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus), often referred to as the Gurry shark, Grey shark, or by its Kalaallisut name eqalussuaq, is a sizable member of the Somniosidae (or “sleeper sharks”) family, which also includes the Pacific and southern sleeper sharks. The Greenland shark, which lives in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, is a potentially significant but little-known cold-water species.

The Greenland shark is one of the largest extant species of shark and has the longest known lifespan of any vertebrate species (it is estimated to be between 250 and 500 years). It is a generalist feeder that eats a range of items that are accessible.

Description Of Greenland Shark

One of the biggest shark species still alive is most likely the Greenland shark. It typically weighs between 400 -1,400 kg (880 and 3,090 lb) and grows to a length of 2.4 to 7 m (7.9 to 23 ft).

Generally speaking, males are smaller than females. It is the largest species in the Somniosidae family, rivaling the Pacific sleeper shark, which may grow to a maximum length of 7 m (23 ft). The thickset Greenland shark has tiny eyes, a short, rounded snout, and tiny dorsal and pectoral fins. Given the species’ enormous size, the gill openings are quite small.

greenland shark

Diet Details Of Greenland Shark

Although they have been spotted actively pursuing seals in Canada, Greenland sharks are apex predators that primarily consume fish. The prey that Greenland sharks have in their stomachs is a sign of how actively these predators hunt. Smaller sharks, skates, eels, herring, capelin, Arctic char, cod, rosefish, sculpins, lumpfish, wolffish, and flounder have all been observed as prey on fish. 

Small Greenland sharks primarily consume squid, however, larger sharks that are longer than 200 cm (79 in) have been found to consume seals, epibenthic and benthic fish, and other animals. These sharks’ greatest specimens were discovered to have consumed redfish as well as other higher trophic level meals.

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