Carbon dating myth

There may be Greenland sharks alive today that were born before Christopher Columbus; the species is not even thought to reach sexual maturity until around a hundred and fifty years of age. The answer likely has to do with a very slow metabolism and the cold waters that they inhabit.

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While the victims’ ages were obvious—all were clearly newborns—the police had no way of knowing when the murders had taken place.

Heinemeir analyzed the infants’ lenses and came up with remarkably precise estimates.

Two, he found, had been born in the second half of the nineteen-eighties, the third between 20.

In 2009, Heinemeier received another request, this time from Steffensen, who had recently travelled to Greenland and confronted the longevity puzzle.

Was there a way, Steffensen asked, to use the sharks’ soft vertebrae for carbon dating?

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