Somniosus microcephalus, better known as the ‘Greenland shark’, can live up to 400 years. A record of longevity among vertebrates.
A study published in the journal Science proves that the Greenland shark can live over 400 years. There was even a recent specimen found that was almost 500!
It has been said that it has an extremely slow development rate - it grows by one centimetre per year - had left researchers perplexed for quite some time.
Also known as the ‘sleeper shark’ because of its very slow movements, this vertebrate can live on average between 272 and 390 years, according to the publication.
It is, therefore, the longest-living vertebrate species on the planet that we know of. Quite a modest reputation. That means some of these sharks could have been around when the Taj Mahal was completed or during the Great Fire of London!
In the animal kingdom, only the ocean quahog, a clam, can live longer: up to 507 years. This study also showed that Greenland sharks could breed only when they reach the age of 150 years old.
Births are thus very rare and the species is threatened: each death or capture is a blow for the Somniosus microcephalus...
Check out the video above for more on this incredible shark!