Shakespearean Shark

Search
Directory

Weird and Wonderful

Shakespearean shark
20th March 2018

By Lloyd Lugsden

A giant Greenland shark is possibly the oldest living vertebrate in the world.

It is estimated to be up to 512 years old – dating back to before the birth of Shakespeare.

Living in the icy waters of the Arctic, the giant creature was located by scientists. By measuring its size, they suggested the shark could have been born as early as 1505. The shark lives in -1C to 10C waters and can swim as deep as 7,200ft and is thought to weigh more than a tonne.

It was the oldest of 28 Greenland sharks to be analysed and this particular one measured 18ft in length, meaning it could be anywhere between 272 to 512 years old.

This species grows at a rate of 1cm a year and has an estimated life span of 400 years.