Happy shark awareness day!
I absolutely love sharks and in the spirit of the day I thought I would share with you some information about an interesting favourite of mine – The Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus).
The Greenland shark can live as low as 2,500 hundred meters under the icy depths of the pitch black Arctic and Northern Atlantic oceans. In the winter, when the waters are icier than usual the Greenland shark comes closer inland to shallow bays and river mouths. They are classed as Near Threatened by the IUCN and were once targeted for the meat trade, were their stocks rapidly declined. They could still be in decline, due to their slow growth rate. Conservationists are checking bycatch for Greenland’s and working to understand if the Greenland shark is indeed declining.
They can grow to be as big as Great white sharks (But not to worry, they aren’t as voracious predators as the Great Whites). Greenland’ s are the sloths of the ocean, travelling at 1.7mph and can live for 200 years. Most are blind thanks to a parasitic copepod that attaches itself to the shark’s corneas. Ouch!