Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia
Also known as
Gurry Shark, Grey Shark, Sleeper Shark, Eqalussuaq
Polar latitudes from Baffin Island down to the Carolinas in deep water canyons
Cold, deep waters of the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean
Order Squaliformes (sharks with two dorsal fins), Family Somniosus (sleeper sharks)
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Greenland sharks are one of the world’s largest sharks and the largest fish found in the eastern Arctic Ocean! The largest one ever recorded was 6.4 metres long and weighed a whopping 1,023 kilograms! They’re usually found in cold, deep waters, sometimes at depths greater than 1,500 metres and are known to live an incredibly long time. The oldest Greenland shark studied had lived for nearly 400 years, making it the longest known living vertebrate! These sharks belong to the family Somniodae, known as the sleeper sharks, due to their slow swimming and low activity level. Despite the large size and long lifespan of Greenland sharks, they are still poorly studied. There is a lot for us to learn about this species and how they’re impacted by threats such as climate change and fishing.