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Palaeontology

World's largest fish grew up to 50ft

August 26, 2013 | Comment icon 20 comments



Prehistoric monster - Leedsichthys grew up to 50ft. Image Credit: CC 3.0 Dmitry Bogdanov
The monstrous 16m-long Leedsichthys problematicus would have swam the ocean 160 million years ago.
[!gad]The fossil remains of the sea-faring behemoth were unearthed at a quarry by an international science team led by Professor Jeff Liston of the National Museums of Scotland. The discovery is important because it shows that while the dinosaurs were increasing in size on land, creatures in the world's oceans were also getting larger.

Small fragments of Leedsichthys specimens have been found before however until now it wasn't possible to get a proper idea of the creature's full size. So problematic in fact was the collection of information about the species that these difficulties were even reflected in its name "problematicus".

Despite its huge size, Leedsichthys would have been a gentle giant, feeding on shoals of plankton by sweeping it up through its gills which acted like a filter. This mechanism proved highly effective, helping the species to thrive in the world's oceans until it was wiped out along with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Source: Guardian | Comments (20)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by Twin 9 years ago
I think Shadow Sot is right. Megalodon got up to about 60 ft.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
"You're gonna need a bigger boat!"
Comment icon #13 Posted by cacoseraph 9 years ago
Whale sharks get up to around 60', I thought. Edit: my bad, 40' maybe a smidge more
Comment icon #14 Posted by Eldorado 9 years ago
Whale sharks get up to around 60', I thought. Edit: my bad, 40' maybe a smidge more Welcome to the forums, Cacoseraph!
Comment icon #15 Posted by SameerPrehistorica 9 years ago
When this fish was first discovered, it was estimated at 70 to 100 feet.I was excited.Then after some days its size was insanely reduced to 25 feet or more.Then i lost interest. Now this is a good news.50 feet is not bad. But so far Megalodon is the largest fish known. I did had in my mind to make Leedsichthys someday if it was like at least 50 feet. Now it does.I want the Leedsichthys Also i did liked its last name - Problematicus.It was kind of funny. Whale sharks get up to around 60', I thought. Edit: my bad, 40' maybe a smidge more On average,Whale shark is like 40 feet long and weighing 2... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by cacoseraph 9 years ago
Welcome to the forums, Cacoseraph! Thanks I know why I thought 60'. I've been going through all the news items that interest me on UM and came across this: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=200244
Comment icon #17 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
Interesting that it may have been a plankton feeder, many if not most of the largest sea creatures feed on some of the smallest organisms: the baleen whales, Whale, Basking and Megamouth Sharks, Mantas. Plankton must be an extremely rich food source to grow such large animals. Of course there are exceptions: Great White Sharks, Orca, Sperm Whales, and the extinct Megalodon.
Comment icon #18 Posted by ealdwita 9 years ago
D'you want large fries with that?
Comment icon #19 Posted by MonkeysWorth 9 years ago
what happened to the see full article links?
Comment icon #20 Posted by cacoseraph 9 years ago
what happened to the see full article links? it is still there. if you are looking at certain views of these articles the links do not show up. here it is again, just in case something else is going on: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/253508/worlds-largest-fish-grew-up-to-50ft


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