The most long-lived known vertebrate on the planet is a bowhead shark (Somniosus microcephalus), scientists say. To this conclusion they came, having studied 28 species of these fauna, reports the BBC.

To determine the age of sharks, the researchers used the radiocarbon Dating method. They carried out a radiocarbon analysis of a lens nucleus eyes of sharks and found that the average duration of life is about 272 years. The ages of the oldest individuals, the researchers assessed in 392 years.

Also, experts have discovered that Greenland sharks grow very slowly, only one centimeter per year, and they reach reproductive maturity at 150 years. The results of the study appear in an article published in the journal Science.

The study’s lead author – a marine biologist from University of Copenhagen Julius Nielsen stated: “We assumed that we are dealing with an unusual animal, but the fact that sharks were so old, took us by surprise.”

The conclusions of the scientists refuted the views of science about the very long-lived spinal. Previously it was thought that such a record is the bowhead whale, whose age is estimated at 211 years.

However, if vertebrates and can keep each other competing for the title of the chief survivor, the title of the most long-lived of living beings on Earth is out of the competition and belongs to the 507-year old clam Min.

The Greenland shark as the main survivor among the vertebrates 12.08.2016

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