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Greenland Shark Is The World’s Oldest Vertebrate

Greenland sharks are large, slow-moving animals that swim in the north Atlantic Ocean. They are also some of the longest-living animals on Earth. A team of scientists recently used radiocarbon dating to determine the ages of 28 Greenland sharks. They estimated that one female may be 400 years old. Radiocarbon dating is not exact, so the shark could be as young as 272 or as old as 512. However, any number in this range breaks the former record for the oldest vertebrate, which was held by a 211-year-old bowhead whale. If the Greenland shark is at the end of this range, she would be the oldest of any kind of animal. Currently, the oldest invertebrate is a 507-year-old clam named Ming.

Learn more about Greenland sharks.

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