There is great revelence in discussing sperm males on a Meg thread because their success it probably the best evidence for the Meg's apparent disappearance. The largest toothed whales replaced the largest sharks as the top ocean predator. Could there still be a few Megs around, inhabitating areas not favored by sperm whales. Possible. The "Megamouth" shark is a relatively new discovery so why not more rare sharks. And this is another point. Plankton eating sharks are quite rare because they must compete with superior plankton eating whales.
Basilosaurus was one of the earlier mammalian attempts at a totally marine livestyle so we cannot expect it to survive unchanged until now... We have very few mammals from that time that are the "same" as mammals today. However it is very possible that a kind of basilosaurus is the creatures commonly refered to as "sea serpents" I say this because of their elongated bodies and mode of locomotion which creates the distinctive "humps" on the surface as these creatures move. NONE of the other candidates, living or extinct, swim or look like this. The hair mane so frenquently mentioned in the sea serpent accounts also suggests a mammal rather than reptilian sea serpent, as well as the very cold water where many of these are reported would be unsuitable for reptiles.
This was mentioned on another thread, but there was a recent National Geographic special on lake monsters/sea serpents and it showed a photograph of one of these basilosaurus type, maned sea serpents that had been recovered from the stomach of a sperm whale, (but regrettably not preserved), so I would have to agree with Paulwhale that the Zeuglodon would be the loser in a life and death struggle with a Sperm whale.
Sperm whales could easily kill another large whale or shark, but normally wouldn't, for they can only swallow whole prey because of the lack of upper teeth to tear it apart.
However, a Sea Serpent/zeuglodon creature, giant squid, and sharks at least 4 meters in length could be swallowed whole and are, as sperm whale stomachs reveal. Perhaps this is why "Sea Serpents" are so rare!
It is not so much the case that Sperm Whales would kill Meg Sharks in battle, but that they would outcompete them in the hunt for gaint squid, which was probably the principle prey of both creatures. If it came to a fight though, a sperm whale could probably fit the entire Meg Shark's head in its jaws and crush it. Normally large predators simply avoid each other, not risking injury in pointless combat. Megs would gradually disappear if Sperm whales ate most of their food. This seems to be what happened.
I don't know where anyone got the idea that the zeuglodon was the largest whale, unless it was the false assumption that anything "prehistoric" must be "bigger" than today. This, of course, is not true, and the biggest living creature ever recorded, the blue whale, is still with us today, though it is now possibly being rivaled by a huge, newly discovered Ichthyosaur called the Shonisaurus, a creature that probably was the "Sperm Whale" of its day, in the ecological niche of chief giant squid predator. With its extinction, along with the other great sea reptiles, the Meg attained supremacy until the arrival of the Sperm Whale.
Edited by draconic chronicler, 05 October 2005 - 01:14 PM.
they could have found new places to adapt to, like some parts of the deep are warm, the crust heats these parts, like the marina trench, the meg was warm blooded like the great white and the mako, so it could live under these conditions...
Lol, are you kidding? The megalodon was a fish, just like a great white shark and a mako shark. fish are cold blooded. There has never ever been a warm blooded fish...ever.
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Posted 05 October 2005 - 10:33 PM
The megalodon was a fish, just like a great white shark and a mako shark. fish are cold blooded. There has never ever been a warm blooded fish...ever.
Technically correct, But Great Whites and Makos are warm bodied, totally different to cold blooded fish and sharks
at least seven species of mackerel sharks - the Great White (Carcharodon carcharias), the Longfin (Isurus paucus) and Shortfin (Isurus oxyrinchus) makos, the Porbeagle (Lamna nasus) and Salmon Shark (Lamna ditropis), the Common Thresher (Alopias vulpinus) and the Bigeye Thresher (Alopias superciliosus) - have successfully invaded cold waters. These sharks are unique in their ability to elevate and maintain body temperatures as much as 13 °C above the ambient water temperature. One striking feature of these warm-bodied sharks is that their flanks and viscera are warm, while the heart and gills are at environmental temperatures. This is because they differ substantially from all other sharks in the pattern of blood supply to the viscera and swimming muscles.