What is the slowest shark

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How would you feel about the world if you had followed centuries of contemporary history? Far away from world events, in the cold North Atlantic off Greenland, live sharks that are centuries old.

A greenland shark, better ice shark (Somniosus microcephalus) called, to see is something very special. For scientists too. Filming a live Greenland Shark is very difficult. You can freak out (see video below). Scientists examined 28 female animals for a study. All ended up in commercial fishing nets.

The scientists estimate that the oldest animal examined was 392 years old - plus, minus 120 years! This makes the Greenland Shark the longest-lived vertebrate. It can probably live to be 500 years old - for comparison: the great white shark is around 70 years old. He also takes his time when it comes to puberty, which can be a problem for him. Because he probably only gets offspring after about 150 years - that corresponds to six generations of people. So long he must not fall victim to fishing or other dangers.

The Greenland Shark prefers the cold, arctic waters up to a depth of about 2,000 meters (map with its distribution area). It grows very slowly (about 1 centimeter per year) and becomes over six meters long (females become larger than males). It can weigh up to a ton. He likes to eat seals, for example - or other sharks and fish. He is not picky about the choice of food.

It is probably one of the slowest sharks ever and swims at an average of around 1.2 km / h (max. Up to around 2.6 km / h). It is not just climate change that threatens it. The increasing fishing in the Arctic is a real problem for the animals. They unintentionally end up in the nets of halibut or other fishermen as bycatch.

You can protect the home of the Greenland Shark (the Arctic) with us: www.savethearctic.org


Hanno Groth

Hanno Groth studied politics and has been working as a web campaigner at Greenpeace Germany since 2012.


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