Marine biologists have identified what could potentially be the world’s oldest living vertebrate.
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.
Now a team of researchers who have been studying these sharks have identified an individual that is believed to be as much as 512 years old, making it a contender for the world’s oldest vertebrate.
If accurate, this means that it was born in the year 1505, making it even older than Shakespeare.
“It definitely tells us that this creature is extraordinary, and it should be considered among the absolute oldest animals in the world,” said marine biologist Julius Nielsen.
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 📸