During Ancient Times, Giant Sharks Roamed The Seas, Feasting On Huge Prey
A giant shark roamed the oceans millions of years ago, and scientists believe it would have been able to devour a killer whale in just five bites.
Compared to their ancient cousins, today’s sharks are nothing. It would have taken just five bites for a giant shark to devour a creature the size of a killer whale millions of years ago, according to new research. Researchers created a 3D model of the megalodon – one of the biggest predatory fish ever – using fossil evidence published Wednesday.
The Size Of Those Sharks Is Approximately 16 Meters
According to a study published in Science Advances, the megalodon measured about 50 feet (16 meters) from nose to tail. Compared to today’s great white sharks, that’s about twice the size. As a result of its gaping jaw, the megalodon was able to feed on other large animals. According to the researchers, if it filled its massive stomach, it could roam the oceans for months at a time.
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Moreover, the megalodon had excellent swimming abilities: its average cruising speed was faster than sharks today, and it could have easily migrated across oceans. According to co-author John Hutchinson of the Royal Veterinary College in England, it would be a superpredator whose sole purpose would be to dominate its ecosystem. Until now, scientists have been unable to get a clear picture of the megalodon, said study author Catalina Pimiento, a paleobiologist at the University of Zurich and Swansea University.
Megalodon Would Have Weighed About 10 Elephants
Physicists believe that the skeleton is composed of soft cartilage that does not fossilize well. The scientists used the few fossils available, including vertebrae from a Belgian museum that have been preserved since the 1860s. Hutchinson said researchers brought in a jaw’s worth of megalodon teeth that were as large as human fists. The rest of the information was provided by scanning of great white sharks of today. Researchers calculated that the megalodon would have weighed about 70 tons, or about 10 elephants.
Megalodons Could Open Their Jaws Nearly 6 Feet Wide
Megalodons were capable of opening their jaws up to almost 6 feet (2 meters), which could be used as lunch meat by other high-level predators, according to Pimiento. It is estimated that megalodons lived 23 million to 2.6 million years ago. Paleontologist Michael Gottfried, who was not involved in the study, said megalodon fossils are rare, so these kinds of models require a leap of imagination. According to him, the findings of the study are reasonable in light of what is known about giant sharks
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