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For sharks, old age may be 70 or more: Study

Published on Jan 9, 2014 6:18 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Great white sharks may live until their 70s, more than three times as long as previously thought, according to a new analysis of the marine predator's backbones out on Wednesday.

Using radiocarbon dating technology, researchers analysed vertebrae from four male and four female adult white sharks from the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

The largest male was 73 years old and the largest female was 40, said the report by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

"Our results dramatically extend the maximum age and longevity of white sharks compared to earlier studies," said Ms Li Ling Hamady, lead author of the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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