Megalodon

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This has probably been asked before but i probably missed it! Anyone have any thoughts as to whether Carcaradon Megalodon is still swimming around somewhere in the murky depths of the ocean? There was the report from around the 1920s in Australia (i think) of a white coloured shark of around 50 - 60 feet taking lobster pots from a harbour which suggests it might be, but personally im dubious. Any thoughts anyone?
 

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It sounds interesting, but as a scuba diver, I hope not! Still, the oceans a big place and it was only in recent times the megamouth shark was discovered, and the Giant squid is still a bit of a mystery. To be honest it's quite possible that Carcaradon Megalodon could be out there. I'll tell you if I see it(presuming I get out of the water fast enough!)
 
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Anonymous

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Hmm, what is that, doesn't ring a bell. Except I think a shark tooth I have at home is from a Megalodon. But that's quite small. Bought it when I was 8 or so, don't know where it is now.

I'm more wondering if that giant turtle is still out there.
 
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i doubt that there is still full sized living carcaradon megalodons swimming about in the oceans somewhere simply because i dont think there would be sufficient sea life to sustain this monster.. the time that this creature existed there where huge sea reptiles and mammals for it to feed on now there isnt much anything left that could satasfy one of these guys belly aches.
perhaps a smaller cousin has evolved over the years?? maybe the carcaradon carcharias is the megladon now evolved to a smaller model? and maybe the megladon sightings are just huge great whites.. but maybe the megladon does still exist and feeds on whales, giant squids and even lochness monsters?
i hope they are still alive but i doubt it.

btw about giant turtles.. ive only ever heard of the gold
giant turtle that villagers in vietnam worship .. are there more of them??
 
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Anonymous

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I remember a while back a TV documentary, looking into whether Megalodon was a relative of the Great White (or even the same shark). I recall that they discounted this from analysis of the teeth, which were completely differentt. Alas, as is all too common with forteana, I can't remember the name of the programme or the channel. Sorry peeps!
 
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I seem to remember seeing something along these lines,I believe on Discovery.They were surmising that it may be related to Tiger sharks.
 

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... According to Karl Shuker (In Search of Prehistoric Survivors), the meg was originally believed to be about 80ft in length, based on the size of its teeth, but this estimate is now thought to be incorrect, and has been amended to a more conservative 43 feet.

As far as I know, unless anything has been discovered recently that I've missed, (and I don't pay a great deal of attention ^_^) Megalodon is known only by its teeth. ...
 
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Prehistoric tooth found in wall

Angela Foster at first thought the tooth was an arrow head
A tooth belonging to a prehistoric shark has been donated to a Kent museum after it was found in a wall.
The palm-sized incisor belonging to a creature called a Megladon was discovered by Angela Foster after her garden wall in Maidstone collapsed.

Experts at Maidstone Museum believe the tooth could be 10 million years old, but they do not know how it could have ended up where it was found.

Prof Ed Jarzembowski said the shark could easily have swallowed a human.

I feel extremely privileged to have it in my possession

Angela Foster

The Megladon, which died out two million years ago, was 15 to 20m long and capable of devouring a large whale.

Experts have said its condition means that it was not native to the UK but probably originated from the Everglades area of the United States.

Ms Foster said at first she thought it might have been an arrow head, because the fossil resembled flint.

"I feel extremely privileged to have it in my possession and it's also quite tactile - everyone that I've shown it to actually immediately puts their hand out to hold it," she said.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 082474.stm
 

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There was a trilogy of books about the Megalodon (fictional series) called "Meg" of which I read the first two, it was about a few Megalodon's still living at the bottom of the sea in deep chasms, specifically the one's with the mineral plumes and they lived off all the creatures that survived by chemical-synthesis, what is odd though is that the Shark in the story was albino like ceebs initial post, It was a very good set of books however as to it being fact, I'm not so sure.
 

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Scientists discover megalodon shark nursery
http://www.physorg.com/news192814578.html
May 11th, 2010 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

In this photo taken May 6, 2010, University of Florida vertebrate paleontology graduate student Dana Ehret compares the size of a juvenile megalodon tooth from the Gatun Formation, Panama, left, with an adult megalodon tooth from Florida. Ehret is a co-author of a National Science Foundation-funded study appearing in the journal PLoS One describing the first Neotropical megalodon shark nursery.

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Florida researchers have discovered a 10-million-year-old Neotropical nursery area for the extinct megalodon shark in Panama, providing fossil evidence the fish used these areas to protect their young for millions of years.

Appearing in this week’s edition of the journal PLoS ONE, the article is the first thorough study of megalodon juveniles and gives scientists a better picture of shark behavior.

“The study provides evidence of megalodon behavior in the fossil record,” said lead author Catalina Pimiento, who just completed a master’s degree in zoology from UF and worked in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s vertebrate paleontology division. “Behavior doesn’t fossilize, but we were able to interpret ancient protection strategies used by extinct sharks based on the fossil record.”

Previously suggested fossil shark paleo-nursery areas, the Paleocene Williamsburg Formation and late Oligocene Chandler Bridge Formation of South Carolina, were based only on the anecdotal presence of juvenile teeth accompanied by marine mammals.

“Neither of the collections from previously suggested nursery grounds has been as rigorously analyzed as the specimens in this study, which better supports the presence of this paleo-nursery area,” Pimiento said.

In the current study, funded by the National Science Foundation, researchers collected 400 fossil shark teeth between 2007 and 2009 from the shallow marine Gatun Formation, which connected the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea during the late Miocene Epoch in Panama. Most of the 28 Carcharocles megalodon specimens were surprisingly small, Pimiento said, and analysis determined the size did not relate to tooth position in the jaw or the size of the species during the late Miocene.

“Our study suggests the specimens represent mostly juveniles with lengths between 2 and 10.5 meters,” Pimiento said.

Michael Gottfried, associate professor and curator of vertebrate paleontology at Michigan State University Museum, helped review the PLoS ONE article. His method of determining the skeletal anatomy of megalodon sharks based on comparisons with the great white shark was used in this study. Though Gottfried said he did not completely agree with all of the study’s conclusions, he believes the findings are interesting.

Scientists discover megalodon shark nursery

In this photo taken May 6, 2010, the lateral cusplets shown in this close-up of a juvenile megalodon shark tooth from the Gatun Formation, Panama, are characteristic of older adult Carcharocles species, but only found occasionally in juveniles. The tooth was analyzed at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus as part of a National Science Foundation-funded study appearing in the journal PLoS One describing the first Neotropical megalodon shark nursery.
“Shark nursery areas are very poorly known, both for living and fossil species,” Gottfried said. “If the teeth from Panama described by Catalina and her collaborators do indeed come from a nursery area for the giant megalodon shark, they have the potential to provide a lot of interesting information on the paleobiology of this enormous, but still very enigmatic, fossil species.”

Nursery areas for sharks have ample food resources and serve as protection for juveniles and neonates from predators. Some scientists argue megalodon did not need nursery areas to protect their young because it was the largest shark that ever lived. But researchers discovered teeth in the study area from juvenile megalodon sharks as small as 2 meters long. Other studies also have confirmed present-day large sharks such as the tiger shark, great hammerhead and the white shark use nursery areas.

Other studies have shown white sharks, which belong to the same order as megalodon, seasonally return to the eastern Pacific and other coastal “hot spots” for feeding, foraging and mating. UF researchers considered the hypothesis that megalodon sharks used the grounds for feeding and reproduction rather than as a protective nursery area, but rejected the possibility based on the high number of juveniles, presence of neonates, shallow depth of the area and the scarcity of large mammals.

“This study of the megalodon teeth from Panama and its paleobiologic implications demonstrates the potential information that other fossil shark faunas can give us, including survival strategies, feeding habits and life histories,” said Dana Ehret, second author and vertebrate paleontology graduate student at the Florida Museum.

Other authors are Bruce MacFadden, Florida Museum of Natural History vertebrate paleontology curator, and Gordon Hubbell of Jaws International.
Most of the teeth collected are located in the Florida Museum of Natural History, which also houses the Florida Program for Shark Research and the International Shark Attack File.

Provided by University of Florida
 

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Images at link.

Great whites 'not evolved from megashark'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20318175
By Nick Crumpton
Science reporter

The new specimen (examined here by Dana Ehret) links Great Whites to the much smaller mako shark

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Ancient shark had colossal bite

A new fossil discovery has helped quell 150 years of debate over the origin of great white sharks.

Carcharodon hubbelli, which has been described by US scientists, shows intermediate features between the present-day predators and smaller, prehistoric mako sharks.

The find supports the theory that great white sharks did not evolve from huge megatooth sharks.

The research is published this week in the journal Palaeontology.

Palaeontologists have previously disagreed over the ancestry of the modern white sharks, with some claiming that they are descended from the giant megatooth sharks, such as Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon).

"When the early palaeontologists put together dentitions of Megalodon and the other megatooth species, they used the modern white shark to put them together, so of course it's going to look like a white shark because that's what was used as a model," explained Professor Dana Ehret of Monmouth University in New Jersey who lead the new research.

Modern day white sharks show similarities in the structure of their teeth with the extinct megatooth sharks.

As they both sport serrations on the cutting edges, early scientists working on the animals used this as evidence for the sharks being closely related.


"But we actually see the evolution of serrations occurring many times in different lineages of sharks and if you look at the shape and size of the serrations in the two groups you see that they are actually very different from each other," Professor Ehret told BBC News.


Megalodon had one of the most formidable bites known from the fossil record
"White sharks have very large, coarse serrations whereas megalodon had very fine serrations."

Now, additional evidence from the newly described species shows both white shark-like teeth shape as well other features characteristic of broad-toothed mako sharks that feed on smaller fish rather than primarily seals and other large mammals.

"It looks like a gradation or a transition from broad-toothed makos to the modern white shark. It's a transitional species, and you don't see that a whole lot in the fossil record," Professor Ehret said.

The mako-like characteristics of the new species, named Carcharodon hubbelli in honour of Gordon Hubbell - the researcher who discovered it in the field - were only found due to the incredible preservation of the fossil.

Continue reading the main story
Palaeontology in Peru
The Pisco formation is in South Western Peru, along the Pacific Ocean, a five mile drive from Lima on the transcontinental highway.

A very low energy environment with high depositional rates led to a large number of spectacularly well preserved finds from the area.

These have included whale skeletons complete with preserved baleen and preserved feathers on giant penguin fossils.

The formation has also preserved a shallow marine environment and fossils such as specialised marine sloths that swam in the ocean to feed on sea grasses, and the giant sperm whale relative Leviathan melvillei.

Ehret and his colleagues were able to discover the original excavation site due to the site being protected by the high salt content of the sediment, preserving the hole.

"A big issue in shark palaeontology is that we tend to only have isolated teeth, and even when you find associated teeth very, very rarely are they articulated in a life position," continued Professor Ehret.

"The nice thing about this new species is that we have an articulated set of jaws which almost never happens and we could see that the third anterior tooth is curved out, just like in the tooth row of mako sharks today," he said.

David Ward, an associate researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, who was not involved in the study told BBC News: "Everyone working in the field will be absolutely delighted to see this relationship formalised."

The mosaic of both white shark-like and mako-like characters had been spotted by the researchers in an initial description of the fossil, but the age of the fossil meant their conclusion that the species was intermediate between a mako ancestor and modern white sharks wasn't fully accepted.

"Some folks said 'well, it makes a great story, but it's not old enough because by this time, the early Pliocene, we see full blown white sharks in the ocean.'"

This led Ehret and his team to revisit the original site the fossil was taken from the Pisco Formation in Peru to re-examine the geology of the area, guided by the original field notes of Gordon Hubbell.

Continue reading the main story
Megatooth vs Mako

There are only two species of mako shark today: the short- and long-finned mako sharks.

They are smaller than white sharks and eat primarily fish rather then mammals, whereas white sharks shift away from eating fish as they grow.

The long-finned mako shark gives birth to live pups.

Megalodon was the largest of the 'megatooth' sharks reaching lengths of 15-20m.

A 2008 study found that its bite was one of the most formidable ever to have evolved.

Shark teeth are usually found isolated because they are continually replaced in a conveyor-belt-like fashion.

"Gordon gave us two photographs from when he actually collected the specimen and then a hand drawn map with a little 'X' on it. We tried to use the map and we didn't have much luck.

"But using the two pictures of the excavation, my colleague Tom Devries was able to use the mountains in the background."

"We literally walked through the desert holding the pictures up, trying to compare them. That's how we found the site."

Not only did they find the site, but the team were able to discover the precise hole from which the fossil had been excavated in 1988, before making a lucky escape from the desert.

"We made it back to Lima with about three hours to spare before an earthquake hit and shut down the transcontinental highway for two weeks. It was quite a trip."

By analysing the species of molluscs found fossilised at the site, the team found that the shark was actually two million years older than had been thought, making it roughly 6.5 million years old.

"That two million year push-back is pretty significant because in the evolutionary history of white sharks, that puts the species in a more appropriate time category to be ancestral or... an intermediate form of white shark."

"We've bolstered the case that white sharks are just highly modified makos... It fits the story now," Professor Ehret told BBC News.
 

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Just think how good the film Jaws would have been if it was a Megalodon.

"We're gonna need a very much bigger boat"
 

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Whilst it isn't a film there is this that does bring Megalodon into a modern world.

IIRC there is an incident with an early submarine that does not end well for the machine.
 

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I'm really sorry to be the one who tells you this but someone actually has made a film of this.

IIRC there is an incident with an early submarine that does not end well for the machine.

No, there's a very few supposed Megaladon sightings non of which involve a submarine.
 

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There is no evidence of modern megaladon survival. Most of the supposed sightings are clearly describing whale sharks.
 

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oldrover said:
I'm really sorry to be the one who tells you this but someone actually has made a film of this.

IIRC there is an incident with an early submarine that does not end well for the machine.

No, there's a very few supposed Megaladon sightings non of which involve a submarine.

I think you may have misunderstood me. We were essentially answering the same question. I was unaware of the film but have read this work of fiction that does include an attack on a submarine of some kind.
 

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I've just found out there is a film called "shark attack 3: megalodon"

has anyone seen it?
 

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... According to Karl Shuker (In Search of Prehistoric Survivors), the meg was originally believed to be about 80ft in length, based on the size of its teeth, but this estimate is now thought to be incorrect, and has been amended to a more conservative 43 feet.

As far as I know, unless anything has been discovered recently that I've missed, (and I don't pay a great deal of attention ^_^) Megalodon is known only by its teeth. ...

Right - on both counts. Megalodon is known only from teeth. Once again, the tooth evidence has been examined and Megalodon's probable size range has been reduced from the more extravagant estimates.
“Biggest Shark of All Time” Gets Downsized

Real megalodons weren’t nearly as enormous as their silver-screen counterparts

The largest shark of all time was longer than a school bus. Known as Otodus megalodon to specialists, but simply megalodon in the seemingly endless schlock films and books the shark has inspired, the extinct fish stretched to sixty feet in length. And possibly more. The legend of the monstrous selachian is so tenacious that even hard-nosed treatments of the Cenozoic chomper feel compelled to mention the myths of modern megalodon of even greater size, or that “the one that got away” may be still out there. When considering a sixty-foot shark, after all, a seventy- or eighty-foot version doesn’t seem that outlandish, and the prospect of a hundred-foot monster is often paired with the ominous statement that "much of the ocean is still unexplored."

But it turns out that the enormous whale-cruncher is quite dead and probably wasn’t quite so gargantuan as previously supposed. Teeth tell the tale. ...
FULL STORY: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/laelaps/biggest-shark-of-all-time-gets-downsized/
 
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Thank goodness! I spend quite a bit of time swimming in the sea, and have constantly had a nagging worry about the thought of being bitten in half by a 60 — 80 foot shark. Now I know they were only about 50 feet long, I will be far more relaxed about the whole thing.
 

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Right - on both counts. Megalodon is known only from teeth. Once again, the tooth evidence has been examined and Megalodon's probable size range has been reduced from the more extravagant estimates.

FULL STORY: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/laelaps/biggest-shark-of-all-time-gets-downsized/

So at 43ft (13.1 m) Meg was only 16% or so larger than a couple of Great White specimens caught (see Wiki account of the Port Fairy and New Brunswick Great Whites) and was smaller than some extant whale sharks.

Kind of diminishes the awesomeness a bit dontcha think?
 

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So at 43ft (13.1 m) Meg was only 16% or so larger than a couple of Great White specimens caught (see Wiki account of the Port Fairy and New Brunswick Great Whites) and was smaller than some extant whale sharks.

Kind of diminishes the awesomeness a bit dontcha think?

Yes - maybe ... We'll probably never have a reasonable estimate of Megalodon's size unless we find skeletal evidence. Sharks' cartilaginous skeletons don't persist and fossilize as readily or well as the skeletons of bony fishes and other vertebrates. Without skeletal evidence all that can be done is extrapolate from tooth size, and the relationship between tooth size and overall size varies among different shark taxa.
 

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So at 43ft (13.1 m) Meg was only 16% or so larger than a couple of Great White specimens caught (see Wiki account of the Port Fairy and New Brunswick Great Whites) and was smaller than some extant whale sharks.

Kind of diminishes the awesomeness a bit dontcha think?

I went away and read Wikipedia as you suggested. The Port Fairy one has been reassessed at around 5 metres based on its jaw measurements, and the New Brunswick one may well have been a misidentified basking shark.

Be that as it may, if we take the greatest of those reported lengths (11.3 metres/37 ft for the New Brunswick one) then a 13.1 metre megalodon would be around 16% longer.

Assuming the same basic body shape, then it would have been around 55% more massive. (16% longer, 16% wider, 16% deeper.)

So maybe it sounds more impressive that the megalodon was more than half as big again as the biggest reported great white.

The biggest reliably recorded great whites, according to Wkipedia, are slightly over 6 metres in length. For comparison, male orcas (killer whales) may be up to about 8 metres in length.

Thus, the megalodon would be around twice as long as a great white, and, if roughly the same shape, around 8 times as massive.

However, most of the estimates of the size of megalodons are based on the few teeth that have been found.

If we had only the canine teeth of smilodons (sabre toothed cats), and the general idea that the animals were cat shaped... we would be seculating about smilodons the size of large elephants. Fortunately, however, we have entire skulls of smilodons, with the long canines still in place.
 

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A reconsideration of Megalodon's taxonomic affiliations and other factors, plus elaborate modeling, resulted in new estimates of Megalodon's representative dimensions and its body profile.
Palaeontologists Reveal What Could Be The True Proportions of The Fearsome Megalodon

A shark with teeth as big as your hand has to be huge. But when teeth are all you have to go on, you'll need to think outside the box to work out what the rest of the long-extinct monster looked like. ...

To get a better sense of the extinct giant's precise proportions, palaeontologists from the University of Bristol and Swansea University in the UK turned to the growth patterns of its closest living relatives. ...

Originally, back in the late 19th century, Megalodon was also placed in the genus Carcharodon, linked directly with great white sharks under the family Lamnidae.

This has led to depictions of the shark as a white shark, only a few times longer, reaching anywhere from 15 to 18 metres from nose to tail.

Not everybody was convinced that this is a fair comparison. Some think the shape of the animal's teeth implies it was the end of the line for the extinct family Otodontidae, in which case it's part of the genus Carcharocles, or perhaps Otodus. ...

This is the lineage the team of palaeontologists have based their latest assessment on, an assumption that implies Megalodon had a slightly more complicated pedigree. ...

"We pooled detailed measurements of all five to make predictions about Megalodon."

Those predictions were based on a mix of mathematical analyses chosen to resolve the question of how anatomical features like fins, head, and tail scaled as the shark expanded in length. ...

We can now picture a 16-metre-long adult Otodus megalodon with a head that was nearly a third of the size of its entire body, at around 4.65 metres, a tail fin of around 3.85 metres, and a dorsal fin of 1.62 metres. ...

FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/palaeo...-t-just-long-its-fins-were-as-tall-as-a-human

See Also:
https://scitechdaily.com/finally-re...f-legendary-prehistoric-mega-shark-megalodon/
 
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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract of the newly published research paper ...

Body dimensions of the extinct giant shark Otodus megalodon: a 2D reconstruction
Jack A. Cooper, Catalina Pimiento, Humberto G. Ferrón & Michael J. Benton
Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 14596 (2020)

Abstract
Inferring the size of extinct animals is fraught with danger, especially when they were much larger than their modern relatives. Such extrapolations are particularly risky when allometry is present. The extinct giant shark †Otodus megalodon is known almost exclusively from fossilised teeth. Estimates of †O. megalodon body size have been made from its teeth, using the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) as the only modern analogue. This can be problematic as the two species likely belong to different families, and the position of the †Otodus lineage within Lamniformes is unclear. Here, we infer †O. megalodon body dimensions based on anatomical measurements of five ecologically and physiologically similar extant lamniforms: Carcharodon carcharias, Isurus oxyrinchus, Isurus paucus, Lamna ditropis and Lamna nasus. We first assessed for allometry in all analogues using linear regressions and geometric morphometric analyses. Finding no evidence of allometry, we made morphological extrapolations to infer body dimensions of †O. megalodon at different sizes. Our results suggest that a 16 m †O. megalodon likely had a head ~ 4.65 m long, a dorsal fin ~ 1.62 m tall and a tail ~ 3.85 m high. Morphometric analyses further suggest that its dorsal and caudal fins were adapted for swift predatory locomotion and long-swimming periods.

FULL RESEARCH REPORT: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-71387-y
 

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Newly published research suggests a very active metabolism and rudimentary warm-bloodedness allowed Megalodon to reach its daunting size. In turn, the authors suggest that in utero cannibalism among embryos and newborns may have further contributed to escalations in body size.
How Cannibalism in the Womb May Have Made Megalodon a Titanic Terror

A new analysis of shark body size offers clues as to why the 50-foot-long prehistoric shark grew so large

There’s never been a bigger carnivorous shark than Otodus megalodon. At a maximum body size of 50 feet long, this ancient mako relative was the largest shark ever to chomp its way through the seas. No other shark species, even among its close relatives, grew quite so large. But how did megalodon become so exceptional?

A new study, published today in Historical Biology by DePaul University paleontologist Kenshu Shimada and colleagues, suggests that cannibalism in utero may have helped set up the rise of the largest meat-eating shark of all time. The researchers suggest that a biological connection existed between having large, hungry babies, a metabolism that ran warm and increases in size—with the appetites of baby sharks driving their mothers to eat more and get bigger, which led the babies to get bigger themselves. ...

Running warm may have given the ancestors of megalodon and other lamniform sharks a route towards body sizes impossible for other species. The physiological difference allowed lamniform sharks to swim faster and feed in colder waters than other species. ... A warm, energetic shark needs more food than a slow, cold-running one, and large prey like blubber-rich seals offer a more economical way to feed. ...

But how did lamniform sharks evolve warm metabolisms in the first place? Shimada and colleagues suggest that competition in the womb, even cannibalism, had an important role to play. ...

FULL STORY: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scie...have-made-megalodon-titanic-terror-180975969/
 

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