Centuries-old Greenland shark could lead to longer lifespan in humans

New secrets have emerged about a strange and rare shark believed to live up to 500 years – and scientists say they could hold crucial clues to increasing human life expectancy.

The elusive Greenland shark — long fascinated by its long lifespan — does not suffer a significant decline in its muscle metabolism as it ages, according to new research presented this week at the annual conference of the Society for Experimental Biology in Prague.

This is very different from other animals, scientists say.

“Most species show differences in their metabolism as they age,” said lead researcher Iwan Campbellson, a PhD student at the University of Manchester in England. To the telegraph.

Greenland sharks are believed to live up to 500 years – the oldest known living vertebrates in the world. dottedyeti – stock.adobe.com
Fermented Greenland shark meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Universal Images Collection via Getty Images

“The results support our hypothesis that Greenland sharks do not show the same typical signs of aging as other animals.”

Scientists previously thought that this fish — which is usually nearly blind and doesn’t reach maturity until about 150 years old — owed its centuries-long lifespan to its habitat: the deep, extremely cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, which make its movements slow to conserve energy.

But now researchers have discovered new evidence of the metabolic muscle of sharks – the world’s longest-living vertebrate – and say it could eventually help treat heart disease in humans.

“We want to understand what adaptations they have that allow them to live so long,” Campbellson said.

“By studying the Greenland shark and its heart, we may be able to better understand our own cardiovascular health. These are issues that become more common and serious as we age.”

See also  Remains of an extinct world of living organisms have been discovered
A Greenland shark is dragged across the ice by fishermen. Gamma Rafo via Getty Images

Little is known about these creatures – one of the world’s largest sharks – except for their record-breaking age.

One of the beasts, which died in 2016, was likely born around 1620, researchers said at the time.

Scavengers typically grow to about 24 feet long and weigh 2,220 pounds while devouring decaying prey such as polar bears and reindeer. According to the environmental conservation group Oceana.

They are born with relatively small eyes, which are usually rendered almost useless by parasitic crustaceans that eat away at their corneas – but sharks’ amazing sense of smell keeps them well fed as they scavenge rotting meat.

Greenland shark meat hangs in a drying hut in Iceland. Universal Images Collection via Getty Images

Some people say sharks can get into freshwater bodies – leading to speculation that one of them could be the Loch Ness Monster, Oceana said.

“My ultimate goal is to protect the species, and the best way to do that is to understand them better,” Campbellson told The Telegraph of his shark research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *