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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Greenland sharks live for hundreds of years


Summary : The 5 meter long greenland shark's general biology and manner of existence were a thriller to biologists for many years. However, marine biologists have now deployed an epoch-making method to unveil one of the greatest of the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic shark -- and have come to an brilliant revelation: with a life expectancy of at least 272 years, the greenland shark has the longest existence expectancy of all vertebrate animals acknowledged to science.


Source:
Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
At the same time as the greater than 5 meter lengthy greenland shark is one of the international's largest sharks, it is also one of the least understood animals on our planet. The greenland shark's preferred biology and manner of existence have been a mystery to biologists for many years. However, marine biologists on the university of copenhagen have now deployed an epoch-making technique to unveil one of the greatest of the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic shark -- and feature come to an remarkable revelation: with a existence expectancy of at the least 272 years, the greenland shark has the longest existence expectancy of all vertebrate animals known to technology.

More than 50 years in the past, danish fishery biologist paul marinus hansen suggested that greenland sharks handiest grow some centimeters over several years. Due to the fact then, researchers around the arena could most effective speculate upon the lifespan of greenland sharks. The query remained unanswered because the age of greenland sharks can't be determined the usage of the traditional strategies to decide the age of fish.

Carbon-14 dating of shark eye lenses
An international team of researchers, led by marine biologists at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Biology, has revealed one of the enigmatic shark's many secrets. Through carbon-14 dating, they have found a method to estimate the lifespan of Greenland sharks. Their dramatic results have now been published in the distinguished American scientific journal,Science. The sharks' eyes have hidden the main clue to their life expectancy all along.
The article's main author is PhD student Julius Nielsen of the University of Copenhagen's Department of Biology. He performed the study in close cooperation with the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Arctic University of Norway and Aarhus University.
"Our lifespan study is based on the carbon-14 dating of Greenland shark eye lenses. As with other vertebrates, the lenses consist of a unique type of metabolically inactive tissue. Because the center of the lens does not change from the time of a shark's birth, it allows the tissue's chemical composition to reveal a shark's age. We use well-established radiocarbon methods, but combine them in a new way. This approach, along with the extraordinary ages for these sharks makes this study highly unusual," according to Julius Nielsen.

Archaeological methods used to produce revolutionary results
The particular element of eye lenses has previously been used to discover the age of whales, however it's far the first time that the carbon-14 courting of eye lenses has been used to estimate the life expectancy of fish.

Carbon-14 dating is primarily heard approximately when it comes to archaeological relationship. But, because of the extraordinary lifestyles-expectancy of greenland sharks, it is able to also be used with them as well.

The examine additionally marks an crucial milestone for the established order of sustainable management plans for greenland sharks. Julius nielsen keeps:

"greenland sharks are among the largest carnivorous sharks on this planet, and their role as an apex predator inside the arctic environment is completely neglected. With the aid of the heaps, they by chance turn out to be as by way of-capture across the north atlantic and i desire that our studies can help to convey a greater consciousness at the greenland shark within the future."

Interdisciplinary collaboration aarhus university researchers were responsible for the carbon-14 analyses, and the examine is a good example of the synergistic effect that occurs while one of a kind research fields collaborate and make use of each other's abilties. The analyses primarily based on these outcomes are anchored within the complex interactions between atmospheric physics and fish biology. In step with jesper olsen, of aarhus college:

"this look at of the greenland shark's lifespan has been made viable due to the close cooperation between college of copenhagen and greenland institute of natural resources biologists, with their information of sharks, and aarhus university researchers, with their carbon-14 courting expertise. While measuring the carbon-14 became unproblematic, the version used so far the longest and oldest of the greenland sharks became difficult."

The greenland shark lifespan study is a part of a phd mission addressing the greenland shark's general biology and runs for a period of 3 years. As such, the undertaking also examined different aspects of greenland shark's biology. The gathering of greenland shark specimens used in the study has been performed over a number of years specifically from unintentional by way of-catch in the course of the greenland institute of natural resources annual fish survey but also from uit norway's arctic college, dtu aqua and college of copenhagen research vessels. The worldwide crew of researchers at the back of the thing in science additionally includes researchers from countrywide aquarium denmark/ den blå planet, oxford college (uk), indiana college south bend (us), and the virginia institute of marine science (us).

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