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

Diplomats Work to Extend Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry, diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar gathered in Paris Saturday to discuss crisis More

Photogallery US Defense Department Warns of Arms to Eastern Ukraine

‘Imminent’ delivery of Russian rocket launcher poses threat to civilians, US says More

Video Researchers: Africa Genetically Modified Crops Held Back by Scaremongering

GM crops offer best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to co-author of Chatham House report 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
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.
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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid