While time may feel like it’s standing still for many of us in 2020, this pandemic year is but a blink of an eye for the world’s longest-living vertebrates.
Greenland sharks, which are found in north Atlantic and Arctic waters, can live for centuries. Some of the oldest known members of the species are estimated to be close to 400 years old — which means they were swimming while the Pilgrims crossed the ocean on the Mayflower.
The sharks are difficult to study because they prefer the deepest parts of the ocean, at depths nearly 2 miles below the surface. They’re uncommon relative to other shark species like great whites.
Here are sharks caught on camera in the Arctic, Nunavut Canada. These ancient sharks are more around us then we know.
“These quiet giants spend hundreds of years below the ocean, slowly roaming the depths in near- to below-freezing waters, rarely seen by the human eye,” Meaghan Swintek, a biologist at California State University, Fullerton, who coauthored a recent study on Greenland sharks, said in a press release.
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