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Nature & Environment

Greenland sharks live for at least 272 years

By T.K. Randall
August 13, 2016 · Comment icon 21 comments

Greenland sharks can live to be positively ancient. Image Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
These carnivorous ocean-dwellers are now thought to be the longest-lived vertebrates on the planet.
One of the world's largest extant shark species, the Greenland shark, which as its name suggests can be found in the waters of the North Atlantic, recently earned itself a place in the record books after researchers discovered that it is actually one of the world's longest-lived animals.

According to the study, these unassuming ocean predators commonly live for hundreds of years and enjoy lifespans which far exceed that of any other known vertebrate.

"We report the oldest shark to be at least 272 years (old)," said Julius Nielsen, a doctoral student at the University of Copenhagen.

"In more technical terms, it is with 95% certainty between 272 and 512 years old."

Source: | Comments (21)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Ashyne 8 years ago
It boggles the mind to think how much human life has changed in the lifespan of a single Greenland Shark. From a time when people didn't even have electricity to when we now have space travel, all in the lifetime of one shark.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Leto_loves_melange 8 years ago
Moral being... go through life at your own pace.
Comment icon #14 Posted by pallidin 8 years ago
Just to add to this topic...  
Comment icon #15 Posted by khol 8 years ago
animal with longest life span ?   just give Kieth Richards a chance  
Comment icon #16 Posted by Sameerr 8 years ago
Indeed it was an interesting news. When i read it,i wanted to make a comparison image for this shark. Greenland sharks are indeed lucky animals to have an age between 512 and 272 years.   These are animals that outlive humans :
Comment icon #17 Posted by MWoo7 8 years ago
Good likeness Sameerr Shark in back for humor though. Longest life span ? yeah give Howard Stern a Chance too!  Besides women living forever, the men I've seen seem thin as a rail and are always doing something.  Also, well -- I run in to some that say such and such smoked cigars etc. didn't hurt them a bit, when someone says aaaaaaaaaah smoking and whiskey didn't slow down gr4amps or granny and they lived to one hundred and three, and you reply::::: is that right- yeah well, they would have made 150 or more if they didn't live so rough.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Gingitsune 8 years ago
But Greenland sharks are cold blooded and live in near freezing water. They are born in the fridge and live their entire live in the fridge. No wonder they can last longer.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
I learned of the longevity of the Greenland shark while watching River Monsters earlier this year.  Very interesting.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Mr.United_Nations 8 years ago
Thats wrong, doesnt include sponges..
Comment icon #21 Posted by SgtTechHead 8 years ago
Cold, slow, carnivorous... I think I'm set then

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