A Greenland shark, one of many longest-lived animals on Earth, was captured close to Belize: NPR

In April, researchers caught a Greenland shark off the coast of Belize, the primary reported sighting of the species within the western Caribbean. The shark is often discovered within the Arctic and at depths as much as 7,000 ft under the ocean’s floor.

Devanshi Kasana


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Devanshi Kasana


In April, researchers caught a Greenland shark off the coast of Belize, the primary reported sighting of the species within the western Caribbean. The shark is often discovered within the Arctic and at depths as much as 7,000 ft under the ocean’s floor.

Devanshi Kasana

Researchers who tagged tiger sharks off Belize’s southern coast could not consider their eyes once they just lately got here throughout a unique sort of fish. It turned out to be a Greenland shark, which is often discovered within the Arctic and may dwell as much as over 500 years.

The staff of scientists thought the shark was lifeless once they lastly dragged it to the floor. In contrast to the tiger sharks they have been in search of, this specific shark had a worn-looking black pores and skin and blue eyes. Devanshi Kasana, a Ph.D. candidate in Florida Worldwide College’s predator ecology and conservation lab, mentioned the shark seemed “actually, actually previous.”

“It was simply very shocking and complicated,” he mentioned. “As quickly as she entered our sight view, we noticed a black determine that was getting greater and greater. When she got here to the floor, not one of the crew with all of her mixed fishing expertise had seen something like this.”

Kasana and colleagues revealed an article in regards to the seize within the journal Marine biology within the month of July.

Kasana mentioned the invention is especially thrilling as a result of it means that these sharks, which have been thought to exist primarily within the Arctic, may also be discovered within the tropics.

Greenland sharks are more likely to be over 500 years previous

Scientists have extra questions than solutions in terms of the Greenland shark. Based on the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, these sharks are the longest-lived vertebrates on the planet, residing maybe greater than 500 years. And that is solely an estimate, as a result of there is no such thing as a exact solution to decide their age.

The rationale they dwell so previous might have one thing to do with their velocity of life, which is gradual, very, very gradual. Greenland sharks develop a couple of third of an inch per 12 months and may attain a size of over 20 ft. And researchers consider that sharks do not attain sexual maturity till someday after the primary 100 years of their life.

Based on Kasana, some scientists have theorized that the Greenland shark might be discovered all around the world, if you realize the place to look. They love chilly water, which is why they’re discovered within the Arctic. Nevertheless, they’ve additionally been found as far south because the coast of Georgia, hundreds of ft under the ocean’s floor.

The speculation is that the nearer the sharks are to the equator, the deeper researchers need to go to seek out them. They usually go deep, over 7,000 ft deep, in accordance with NOAA.

The seize was sudden

Kasana mentioned their seize was strictly unintentional. On April 22, she and her staff have been working with members of the Belize shark fishing group and the Belize Fisheries Division to determine strains alongside Glovers Reef, situated roughly 30 miles offshore. The reef waters might be as shallow as 25 ft, however the steep slopes can attain greater than 2,000 ft under.

“It all of the sudden tilts and the depth will get very deep very quick,” mentioned Kasana. “We really feel the road dragged from a a lot shallower depth than the drop-off, which is why we ended up catching this particular person.”

A report from the encounter launched on July 15 states that this was the primary Greenland shark to be found within the western Caribbean. Understanding how uncommon the expertise was, Kasana mentioned her staff mentioned shopping for a lottery ticket in the event that they ever met one other.

“If we have been to catch one other particular person it could be pure luck, we do not set our strains in a method that targets Greenland sharks,” mentioned Kasana.

After they got here throughout the shark, he seemed extraordinarily previous, he defined. And though they briefly thought of labeling it, they did not wish to unintentionally injure or kill the shark within the title of science. As an alternative, Kasana and her staff measured the shark, took notes and a photograph, and despatched it on her method.

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