Using protein from the center of the eye lens and combining carbon dating results with estimations of how Greenland sharks grow, scientists created a model that allowed them to probe the age of the 25 sharks born before the 1960s.
Their findings revealed that the largest shark of the group, a female measuring just over five meters in length, was most likely around 392 years old, although, the range of possible ages stretches from 272 to 512 years.
The Greenland shark is now the best candidate for the longest living vertebrate animal.
What’s more, with adult female Greenland sharks known hit sexual maturity only once they reach more than four metres in length, scientists found that females have to clock up an age of around 150 years before they can produce young.
Source: Eyes on Age - Infographic design by Daniel Smith | Content interpretation by Lisa Boonzaier | Species illustration by Marc Dando | © Save Our Seas Foundation Copyright 2016