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The Science Behind: Ageing a Shark

Sharks have birthdays just like the rest of us, but how do we tell how fast they grow and how old they are when they mature? NOAA 
Fisheries biologist Nancy Kohler, head of the Apex Predators Program, will tell you. “We want to make sure there’s enough sharks around...forever,” Kohler says. That’s why scientists study the basic life history of apex predators, like sharks, and work to validate shark age. Watch our new video and catch NOAA Fisheries shark scientist Lisa Natanson in action. Find out more about how scientists use shark backbones and oxytetracycline to determine their age and monitor the long-term sustainability of sharks in the video below. Exit 

You can talk to Lisa Natanson live on Twitter during this year's NOAA Fisheries Shark Week tweet chat on August 8 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Join the conversation and ask her anything you want to know about sharks.

Check out the shark video below and visit NOAA Fisheries YouTube channel to watch more videos.