greenland shark, life longevity, health,
Greenland sharkFacebook/United News of India-UNI

Greenland sharks are found to have life spans of up to 4 centuries. Researchers believe unique genes as the reason behind the longevity.

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Scientists from the Arctic University of Norway carried out a research with Professor Kim Praebel as the lead researcher along with other colleagues from Denmark, Greenland, USA and China.

Praebel stated that sharks are the longest living vertebrates present on the planet, according to Science World Report.

The researchers are sequencing the nuclear genome which can help them solve the mystery behind the longevity of the Greenland sharks.

The researchers took fin clippings of around 100 Greenland sharks, some born in the 1750s. The oldest and largest female Greenland shark analysed by geneticists is supposedly 392 years old and is as long as 5 metres.

The researchers aim to isolate the specific genes which are responsible for the long life spans of these sharks.

"We are currently sequencing the whole nuclear genome which will help us discover why the Greenland shark not only lives longer than other shark species but other vertebrates," Professor Praebel stated when he unveiled the project at the Fisheries Society of the British Isles symposium at the University of Exeter.

These Greenland sharks live in the deep waters of Atlantic Ocean and very less is known about the genetics and biology of the species.

"The results will help us understand more about the biology of this elusive species," Professor Praebel said.