Scientists to Embark on Journey to Unravel Myths of Ancient Arctic Sharks

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Apr 24, 2017 12:00 PM EDT

(Photo : Discovery)

Last year, the Scientists from Copenhagen found valid examples suggesting that the Greenland sharks, known as the top predator in the Arctic, have been around the region from ancient times. The results of the research were published in the journal Science.

The research led to a lot of enthusiasm and piqued the interest of a team of scientists from The University of Manchester. Dr. Holly Shiels, a physiologist, is a part of the team and is ready to embark on a journey to understand more about the shark species and to validate their age-old existence.If the findings are positive, then the Greenland sharks will be the longest-lived vertebrate animal, revealed Phys Org.

According to BBC, the sharks are classified as data deficient as not much research has been conducted on them. There is vagueness in understanding how the sharks have survived all these years in the Arctic region. The information available to the team are that the sharks are bottom dwellers and survive in the deep seas around the Arctic Circle, they are both hunter and scavenger, and that remains of polar bears and whales have been discovered from their stomach. The Greenland shark fall among the largest species of shark, coming second after Great Whites and reportedly can grow up to five-and-a-half meters.

The expedition team plans to use accelerometers and satellite pop-up tags to track shark's movement. It is important that the survival of the species must be ensured as the shark's reproductive system takes supposedly 150 years to mature. Moreover, the effects of over-fishing, pollution and climate change on the species need to be studied. The species is considered a delicacy among the locals but the meat if eaten fresh can be poisonous. The cardiovascular circulations of sharks and the toxin in their skin are areas the team wants to conduct detailed researches on.

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