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The Greenland Shark's 400-Year Lifespan and Mysterious Existence

Did you know that Greenland sharks can live for 400 years? That is more than the longest-living land animals. Along with their long lifespan, they are also known to be the biggest fish in the Arctic Ocean. The Greenland shark can live 7,200 feet underwater, where the temperature is between 28 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit.

Greenland sharks are tough to spot, but when they are seen, it is usually at the water's surface. This is because the shark spends most of its time in colder waters. These sharks are dark gray, brown, or black with long cylinder-shaped bodies and rounded snouts. They can grow to 23 feet long and weigh 1.5 tons.

Greenland sharks have pointed upper teeth and squared teeth on their lower jaws. These lower teeth act as blades to tear chunks of flesh. Greenland sharks eat various foods ranging from fish and squid to larger animals like polar bears or even reindeer!

Greenland sharks aren't studied as frequently due to the difficulty of finding them; in fact, the first photograph of this shark was taken in 1995. Although this shark is hardly ever spotted, it is still a mighty and big predator. However, there is no evidence that Greenland sharks attack humans.

The flesh of Greenland sharks is toxic when consumed. If someone were to eat a Greenland shark's flesh, they would likely experience diarrhea, vomiting, stumbling, and convulsions. It is possible to eat them, but the process to safely prepare the meat is long. Nonetheless, humans still threaten Greenland shark populations through fishing, pollution, and impacts on climate change. This comes with these creatures' already low reproduction rate and late maturity.

Although Greenland sharks pose no threat to humans, their populations are at risk of extinction as they are vulnerable to various human activities. These rare creatures have unique qualities that allow them to survive in extreme conditions, making them precious creatures to study and learn from.

[Source: National Geographic]

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