Great Whites Longevity

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,299
    Radiocarbon age validation reveals that great white sharks grow slower and live longer than we previously thought.

    The first successful radiocarbon age validation study for adult great white sharks reveals that this top predator grows much slower and lives longer than we thought. Of the sharks analyzed, the oldest male was estimated to be 73 and the oldest female to be 40.  Researchers say that age determination in fish is important for conservation efforts.  Estimating the age in sharks is challenging but was done through analyzing growth increments in mineralized tissue like ear bones and fin rays.  With age come annual rings that can be analyzed much like the growth in trees.  The team used a cutting-edge technique in isotope geochemistry analysis which allowed to them to correctly access the age of the sharks unlike previous studies, revealing greater longevity in the great white!