News / Science & Technology

Great White Sharks Could Live to 70 or Beyond

File - When it is calm and confident, the Great White shark's pectoral fins are horizontal. (Pascal Kobeh-Galatee Films)
File - When it is calm and confident, the Great White shark's pectoral fins are horizontal. (Pascal Kobeh-Galatee Films)

Related Articles

Ancient Sea Lizard Had Shark-like Fin

Enormous sea creature lived during Cretaceous Period, about 70 million years ago

Australia Plans Shark Kill to Protect Swimmers

Safety zones to be created around beaches in Perth and along popular coastal regions

Humans Share Movement Patterns with Sharks, Bees

The pattern is called the Lévy walk and involves a series of short movements in one area and then a longer trek to another area
VOA News
There’s now another reason to fear the great white shark: They live a lot longer than previously thought, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service.

Using radiocarbon dating techniques, the scientists said they were able to measure the age of sharks from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, finding that some lived to 70 years-old and beyond. This is the first successful age-validation study, according to NOAA’s announcement. Sharks have usually been aged by counting alternating opaque and translucent band pairs deposited in sequence in their vertebrae, which is not as accurate.

"Ageing sharks has traditionally relied on counting growth band pairs, like tree rings, in vertebrae with the assumption that band pairs are deposited annually and are related to age," said Lisa Natanson, a NOAA fisheries biologist and a co-author of the study. "In many cases, this is true for part or all of a species’ life, but at some point growth rates and age are not necessarily in sync. Growth rates slow as sharks' age … Age is therefore frequently underestimated. "

The oldest female shark aged in the study was found to be 40, while the oldest male was 73, according to NOAA. The other three males tested aged 9, 14 and 44, and the females were 6, 21 and 32.

NOAA said previous aging of great whites in the Pacific and Indian oceans using the band pair technique showed that none of the sharks was over 23. Natanson’s findings show that either sharks in the Northwest Atlantic live longer than those in the Pacific or Indian oceans, or that age has been underestimated in previous studies.

Great whites are listed as a vulnerable species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, according to NOAA, and the results of the study could help with conservation efforts.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid