August 16, 2022

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Why can Greenland Shark live almost 400 years?

Why can Greenland Shark live almost 400 years?

Why can Greenland Shark live almost 400 years?  If someone asks what is the longest-lived animal in the world, many people will definitely say turtles and the like. In fact, there are many animals on the earth that live longer than turtles.

For example, today‚Äôs protagonist “Greenland Shark”, a lifespan has been found in the Arctic Ocean. The 392-year-old Greenland shark was born in 1627 according to radiocarbon technology!

The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) is an iconic species in the Arctic Sea. It grows slowly, with a total length of more than 500 cm, and its life span is much longer than that of other vertebrates. Because sharks are fierce marine carnivores with cruel temperaments, sharks are at the top of the marine food chain, and few natural enemies can compete with them.

In August 2016,  Marine biologists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark published a study titled “Eye lens radiocarbon reveals centuries of longevity in the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus)” in the international journal “Science”, which described the Greenland shark as the earth The longest-lived vertebrate known in the world. The research appeared on the cover of Science Journal.

Why can Greenland Shark live almost 400 years?

The researchers used the eye lens of Greenland sharks for radiocarbon testing. This method has previously been used to determine the age of whales, and for the first time to determine the age of sharks and other fish.

They used radiocarbon ageing technology on the eye lenses of 28 female Linglan sharks, the largest of which was 502 cm in length. Analysis shows that the life expectancy of this largest shark is estimated to be 392 years, with an error of 120 years. This means that the age of this shark is at least 272 years old, and the maximum possible age is 512 years old.

The growth rate of Greenland sharks is very slow, only about 1 cm in length a year. Female Greenland sharks are said to be about 4 meters in length to be sexually mature. Converted into age, they must be at least 156 years old before they reach adulthood and begin to give birth to the next generation. , The length of the mature body can exceed 500 cm.

According to the study, Greenland sharks can live up to 512 years, which has simply subverted most people’s imagination.

Why can Greenland sharks live so long?

Greenland sharks are sleeping sharks, and their body’s metabolism is extremely slow, which leads to a particularly long growth cycle.

In addition, they swim very slowly. Scientists speculate that it is this “slow life” lifestyle that makes them one of the longest-lived animals in the world.

Experts from Bangor University in the United Kingdom pointed out that cold water can help animals slow down their growth rate and biochemical activities, thereby prolonging their lifespan.

Geneticists at the University of Michigan believe that a lower metabolic rate plays a big role. In the animal kingdom, cold-activated molecules are “evolutionarily conserved.” Therefore, these pathways are likely to exist in these sharks.

Greenland sharks have a long puberty, and a stress-free environment allows them to grow safely in accordance with their own biological development laws. Unlike other animals that face the pressure of nature to survive the survival of the fittest, they follow the strategy of’fast growth, fast development, fast independence, and fast reproduction’. If humans and other animals develop slowly like Greenland sharks, they may live longer. Of course, orangutans will not evolve into humans.

Experts believe that the reason for its longevity can be summarized as 3 principles: 

Without competition:

Greenland sharks like to live in water at -1.6 to 10 degrees Celsius and migrate to the coldest part of the water every season. Compared with this kind of environment, there are naturally less competitors and less pressure.

Not picky eaters: 

as long as it is the meat food it finds, whether the goal is life or death, Greenland sharks will not refuse.

Without tossing:

Greenland sharks never seem to be in a hurry, with an average speed of 0.3 meters per second, so that they are called “sleeping sharks”.

They are all vertebrates. Greenland sharks can live for four to five hundred years. Why is it difficult for humans to live longer than 100 years?

Believe that with the development of science and technology, human beings can discover and learn the secrets of longevity of these animals. At that time, human lifespan will also be greatly increased.

(source:internet, reference only)


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