A Greenland shark swimming in the St. Lawrence River estuary in Canada. (Image credit: Doug Perrine/Alamy Stock Photo) Greenland sharks ( Somniosus microcephalus ) belong to a family of sharks called sleeper sharks, which move slowly and stealthily through the water. They are the longest-living vertebrates, or animals with backbones, surviving for up to hundreds of years in the deep, cold waters of the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. These sharks sneak up on live prey and scavenge dead animals, including other sharks, seals, drowned horses and polar bears. Scientists are learning more and more about these mysterious sharks that rarely encounter humans, but there are still many unknowns surrounding their lifestyles. How big are Greenland sharks? Greenland sharks are among the biggest sharks in the world ; they grow up to 24 feet (7.3 meters) long and weigh up to 2,645 pounds (1,200 kilograms), according to the St. Lawrence Shark Observatory (ORS). That’s longer than great white sharks ( Carcharodon carcharias ), which are estimated to grow up to 20 feet (6 m) long, with unconfirmed reports suggesting they can reach 23 feet (7 m) in length, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History . Greenland sharks […]

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