Listen&Learn: Greenland Sharks

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the sharks that can live for hundreds of years.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • lifespan: the amount of time that an animal can live for
  • estimate: to make a guess using information
  • tissue: a collection of cells in an organism’s body
  • vertebrate: an animal with a backbone
  • decrease: to become smaller
  • maturity: the adult stage of a life

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Greenland is a type of shark that lives in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Greenland sharks are known for their long lifespans, which scientists estimate to be between 200 and 500 years. These estimates come from carbon dating of tissues in the sharks’ eyes. This makes Greenland sharks the longest-living vertebrates in the world. They are also one of the largest types of fish in the ocean, growing up to 21 feet long. However, they are difficult to find. Greenland sharks prefer very , cold water, which means that they rarely interact with humans. Still, the population of Greenland sharks is decreasing because of human . Because they grow very slowly, Greenland sharks may take an entire to reach reproductive maturity. This means that they can’t repopulate quickly. They are currently considered a near threatened .

Comprehension questions

See answers below

  1. The Greenland shark can be found in
    a. the Pacific and Atlantic oceans
    b. the Atlantic and Arctic oceans
    c. the Atlantic and Indian oceans
  2. Scientists estimated the lifespan of Greenland sharks by carbon dating tissues in their
    a. eyes
    b. mouths
    c. flesh
  3. The population of Greenland sharks is decreasing because of
    a. predators
    b. disease
    c. human activity

Discussion/essay questions

  1. What do you think should be done to protect life in the oceans?

Transcript

The Greenland shark is a type of shark that lives in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Greenland sharks are known for their long lifespans, which scientists estimate to be between 200 and 500 years. These estimates come from carbon dating of tissues in the sharks’ eyes. This makes Greenland sharks the longest-living vertebrates in the world. They are also one of the largest types of fish in the ocean, growing up to 21 feet long. However, they are difficult to find. Greenland sharks prefer very deep, cold water, which means that they rarely interact with humans. Still, the population of Greenland sharks is decreasing because of human activity. Because they grow very slowly, Greenland sharks may take an entire century to reach reproductive maturity. This means that they can’t repopulate quickly. They are currently considered a near threatened species.

Answers to comprehension questions

1b 2a 3c

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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