Is there a Kannada word for shark

Greenland Shark: The Great Unknown

It amazes us, this Greenland Shark: No other fish in the North Atlantic gets bigger than it - and certainly not older!

Some grandpa, some grandma among the Greenland Sharks actually live on around 400 years! So they were already swimming through the Arctic waters when the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) raged in Europe. And maybe even when William Shakespeare (1564–1616) brought his dramas and comedies to the theater stage. Nevertheless, the "oldies" are great unknowns for many researchers.

So what do scientists know about the keepers of secrets?

1: What the Greenland Shark looks like

Greenland sharks were described for the first time in 1801. And since the marine animals continue to be caught by fishermen as bycatch, we know that their body is like a torpedo, is on average four to five meters long and covered by gray-brown to olive-green skin . The fins of the fish are relatively small.

2: Where the Greenland Shark lives

Mainly in the European Arctic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean, off the coasts of Greenland, Norway, the Svalbard archipelago and off Canada. The Greenland Shark likes it cool, prefers to swim through water that is a maximum of twelve degrees Celsius - and therefore prefers deeper regions up to 2000 meters below the sea surface. No wonder that researchers or fishermen very rarely see a living specimen.

3: That Greenland Sharks get old

Some, as I said, even centuries old. This is what researchers from the University of Copenhagen found out by removing the lens of 28 dead Greenland Sharks that had been caught by fishermen. This is already formed in the womb and therefore serves the scientists as a kind of time capsule.

The researchers examined the lens using the so-called radiocarbon method. You have to know that all living beings, animals, humans and plants are constantly consuming carbon. Carbon comes in different forms, so-called isotopes. One is called something like C-12, another C-14.

When an animal dies, it no longer takes up any more C-14 - what is stored in the body now breaks down into nitrogen. On the other hand, C-12 is retained. The Danish scientists have therefore investigated how the ratio of C-14 to C-12 in the lens nucleus of the dead sharks has changed - and concluded from this about the approximate age of the fish.

4: How slowly the sharks live

In every way. In order to determine the swimming speed of the sharks, researchers equipped some animals off the coast of Svalbard with transmitters. The measurements showed: Greenland sharks move in slow motion through the icy waters and save energy in this way. Most of the time they only swim through the seas at a good kilometer per hour. They rarely accelerate, for example when hunting - to a speed of 2.6 ...

Not for nothing does the Latin name mean somniosus translates as "the dreaming" or "sleeping". In general, the entire organism of the Greenland shark runs on the back burner: They only grow one, at most two centimeters per year and mature late: At around a century and a half, i.e. after 150 years, a female has offspring for the first time!

5: That they hold records

Well, some Icelandic mussels age at the bottom of the ocean for a good 500 years. In fact, the Greenland Shark is probably the world's oldest vertebrate. He even beats the bowhead whale, which has long been considered a record holder - but with its 200 years maximum age, next to the bowhead shark, it seems almost youthful ... By the way, the bigger a bowhead shark, the older it is.

Profile: The Greenland Shark

  • Generally: Greenland sharks, scientifically Somniosus microcephalus, are not called ice sharks for nothing: They mainly live in the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
  • Height and weight: The torpedo-shaped body of the Greenland Shark measures four to five meters on average, some oldies grow up to eight meters. These giants then also weigh 2.5 tons.
  • Food: Well, researchers do not yet know exactly what bowhead sharks eat. Analysis of the stomach contents of dead animals showed that although they are insanely looooaaaaa slow, they prey on fish and seals. A shark even had the bones of polar bears in its belly. Perhaps the robbers eat carcasses on the ocean floor - or even sleeping animals that surprise them.