In a report released on August 12, 2016, scientists calculated that a species of female Greenland shark is the oldest living animal with a backbone on earth. The scientists anticipated that the gray shark born in the cold waters of Arctic nearly 400 years ago, and died only a couple of years ago. This conclusion puts the entire species at the top of the longevity list.
The scientists used the Novel dating technique to estimate the age of 28 dead female Greenland sharks based on tissue in their eye. According to the study published in journal Science, 8 of the sharks were most likely 200 years old and 2 likely dated back more than three centuries.
The oldest of the Greenland sharks examined was almost 16.5 feet long and estimated to be 392 years old when it was caught four years ago. That means the shark was possibly born between 1500 and 1740.
The scientist used an intricate and indirect system that combines chemical tracking, mathematical modeling and growth dimensions to calculate the age of the sharks. They focused on the eye lens. Greenland sharks choose cold water as the temperature is freezing all over the Arctic. The cold water and the slow metabolism might have something to do with their long life, as per the study.