Strange Science: Could sharks hold the key to a longer lifespan?

Nation/World
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TROMSO, Norway - There's something fishy going on in the icy waters around Greenland for a group of scientists.

According to scientists at the Arctic University of Norway, sharks in Greenland can live at least 392 years and counting!

"The Greenland Shark is a cold-water species and cold-water species of sharks and fish all tend to develop more slowly which can contribute to a longer lifespan overall," Sarah Horn, a biologist at the Moody Gardens Aquarium, said.

Plus, it doesn't hurt when you're at the Top of the food chain!

"Their size very much sets them apart from the types of species you'll find in the Gulf of Mexico," Horn said. "I believe the Greenland Shark can get up to 21 feet in length."

Compare their lifespan to sharks around here.

"Our Sand Tiger Shark, she's actually the largest shark we have on exhibit, at about eight-feet long, sand tiger sharks tend to live between 10 and 15 years."

So, Greenland Sharks seem pretty special, but it's their 'longevity genes' scientists are interested in studying since they may hold the key to a longer lifespan for humans.

Already, these sharks are the longest living vertebrates on the planet.

Scientists have already taken fin clippings from about 100 Greenland Sharks, including some born in the 1750's!

Perhaps these sharks will help us all live a little longer.

 

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