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Greenland shark

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Greenland shark

The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus), also known as the boreal shark or arctic shark, is a large shark species that inhabits the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic. It is one of the largest sharks in the world and is known for its longevity and adaptations to the extremely cold environment in which it lives.

Here is an overview of the Greenland shark:

Size: Greenland sharks are huge, with an average length ranging from 4 to 6 meters, although some individuals have been reported with lengths of up to 7 meters or more.

Shape and appearance: Its body is elongated and cylindrical, with a large, flattened head. The mouth is wide and equipped with large, sharp teeth, which allow it to feed on large prey.

Color: Its general coloration is gray or dark brown on the upper part of the body and lighter on the belly. This coloration helps them camouflage themselves in the dark waters of the Arctic.

Cold Adaptations: The Greenland shark is well adapted to living in cold water, and its body is provided with a thick layer of fat, known as a "blubber," which helps it maintain its body temperature and buoyancy in the water.

Longevity: One of the most surprising characteristics of this species is its longevity. They are believed to be able to live for several centuries, making them one of the longest-lived vertebrates on Earth. This has been determined through analysis of growth bands present on their vertebrae, similar to growth rings on trees.

Food: They are top predators in their ecosystem, and feed mainly on fish, seals, squid and other smaller sharks.

Although the Greenland shark is not aggressive towards humans and is rarely found in areas where there are bathers or recreational activities, it is important to note that it is a protected species due to its low reproductive rate and vulnerability to overfishing. Their slow growth rate and limited reproduction make them particularly susceptible to human activities, so protecting and conserving their habitat is essential to ensure the survival of this fascinating species.

Approximate measurements of the Shark:

Scale 1:32 - 145mm