512-Years-Old Shark Discovered In The North Atlantic

512-Years-Old Shark Discovered In The North Atlantic

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How old do you think the oldest vertebrate on the planet is? One hundred years? Maybe two hundred? Well, marine scientists have recently discovered a 512-years-old shark that was swimming beneath the cold waters of the North Atlantic. You better stick around for #8 because the way this ancient shark looks will shock you!

29. Ancient Shark

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Did you ever guess that the world’s oldest vertebrate is an ancient shark that lived to the age of 512-years-old? The picture above shows us the beast that a young marine biologist found in the North Atlantic.

28. Julius Nielsen

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The ancient shark was discovered by a young marine biologist named Julius Nielsen and this team. Julius knew right away that the giant shark he found was not like the others and he wanted to find more information about him.

27. Oldest Shark Ever

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Julius had no idea that he crossed paths with the world’s oldest sharks ever, but he was soon going to find that out and make waves in the marine biologists’ world. All he knew about this species was that they “live a life in slow motion.”

Here’s what happens…

26. This Shark Looked Different

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Right from the very first moment when Julius found the giant shark he knew that there was something special about him. It looked weird and seemed to act differently from other sharks and scientists really had a hard time catching it! Julius was about to understand why this shark so special!

25. What’s With The Shark?

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Finally, when they got closer, Julius couldn’t understand why the creature looked like this. He had to find a way to learn its story, so he did what most marine biologists wouldn’t do… This is unbelievable!

24. Trying Something New

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To find out more about the shark, Julius decided that he had to learn the basic things about it, like its age. But the common method to measure a shark’s age is not very accurate. So, he had to take a leap of faith and get closer. Nobody said it was going to be easy!

23. Studying Sea Creatures

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Julius and his team of scientists have published their findings in the journal Science after they used a new technique to learn the age of 28 animals. When using it on the shark, everyone was stunned! Somehow, Julius knew it in his gut that the shark was ancient!

22. It Was Mind Blowing!

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He had no idea that they would encounter such an old shark! The method they used in their research was never used before on animals – here’s what they did at # 17.

Wait until you see how this ancient shark looks!

21. Elusive Creature From the Dark Depths

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According to Discovery, these sharks are “an elusive creature of the cold, dark depths that scientists still know very little about.” Julius was about to find out more about this specimen and it baffled everyone in his team.

20. A New Method

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Sharks usually grow somewhere around 0.4 inches per year and this helps marine biologists determine their age. However, the one that Julius found was something special and the young marine biologist needed to come with a new measuring method.

19. A Surprising Result

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In an interview, Julius stated that they were very surprised to study such an old vertebrate: “We had our expectations that we were dealing with an unusual animal, but I think everyone doing this research was very surprised to learn the sharks were as old as they were.”

18. How Old Is a Greenland Shark?

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The problem with learning the age of this species of shark is that they have a very soft body and no hard parts that can deposit growth layers, explains Julius, adding that until he tried this next method, nobody could investigate how old these sharks really are!

17. Measuring The Radiocarbon

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Julius came up with a new method to measure the shark’s age. This method required him to measure the radiocarbon in the eye lenses of the shark and this is how Julius was able to determine the beast’s incredible age. Here is what he said about this technique…

16. Special Proteins

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“The Greenland shark’s eye lens is composed of a specialized material – and it contains proteins that are metabolically inert,” explains the scientist in an interview with BBC. How did they learn that the shark is ancient?

15. Adults at 150 Years Old?

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By analyzing the proteins that cannot be renewed after they were synthesized, the scientists could do a radiocarbon dating. An amazing thing we never knew about these animals is that they will only begin their sexual activity as soon as they become adults – at 150 years old! And there’s more…

14. A Mystery

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The crazy thing about these ancient sharks is that even though they are apex predators, marine biologists don’t know that much about their biology and behavior. Keep reading to see what Julius has to say about this.

13. Julius Speaks Out

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“It definitely tells us that this creature is extraordinary and it should be considered among the absolute oldest animals in the world,” said Julius Nielsen about the incredible shark that he found.

12. The Secret

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Obviously, the first question that comes to people’s minds when they hear about a shark that lived to be 512-years-old is how did he do it? What is the secret to being immortal?

11. Immortality

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Marine biologists hope that if they study the biological anatomy of ancient sharks will help them figure out the secret to immortality. However, this is not the case. Check out the next picture to find out how the shark survived for this long.

10. Cold Waters and Slow Metabolism

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Julius believes that the reason why this shark got to be so old is because of his slow metabolism and the fact that he swims in freezing cold waters that slowed his metabolism even more.

9. Where Does He Come From?

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There is a question that Julius or any other marine biologist can’t answer, and that question is where does this shark come from?

8. Moving A Lot

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As you can imagine, living for 512 years is a long time and the ancient shark has moved a lot during his lifetime. Therefore, Julius can’t determine where the shark was born.

7. Special Discovery

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What’s certain is that this ancient shark is a massive discovery in the world of marine biologists and we hope that they might be able to find more ancient underwater beasts in the future.

6. Apex Predator

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Julius knew that after he finishes examining the beast he would have to let it go. The young marine biologist needed to figure out a safe way to do this because he didn’t want to endanger the life of the shark because he was curious to see for just how many years he will keep living.

5. GPS Tracker

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Julius put a GPS chip tracked on the ancient shark and he let it free in the cold waters of the Atlantic. Do you think this was the right thing to do?

4. Old Beast

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Even though the shark is really old, we can be sure that he is more than capable of taking care of himself. He managed to do it for 512 years and he will have no problem doing it all again.

3. Biggest Threat

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Julius says that releasing the ancient shark was the best thing that he could do. In fact, the biggest threat that the shark has to worry about are parasites that can latch on to his eyes.

2. Unhealthy Eyes

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As previously mentioned, parasites can latch on to the shark’s eyes and this is why they look so unhealthy. However, we can be sure that the ancient shark can manage to live on his own.

1. Awesome Discovery

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What did you think of this remarkable discovery? How many years do you think the ancient shark will keep on living, will he reach the age of one thousand years old?