Sunday, September 25, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Palaeontology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Palaeontology

Newborn megalodons were larger than a human

By T.K. Randall
January 11, 2021 · Comment icon 1 comment



Even newborn megalodons were a force to be reckoned with. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Karen Carr
The world's largest shark was over two meters long at birth thanks to its penchant for eating its siblings.
Measuring up to 60ft in length, this prehistoric behemoth, which lived up until around 2.6 million years ago, made the great white shark - which is less than a third of its size - look like a minnow.

For 20 million years this gargantuan predator dominated the world's oceans, but then something happened that had such a catastrophic effect on the species that it ended up going extinct.
Now a new study involving an x-ray analysis of fossil vertebrae belonging to these prehistoric giants has revealed that even when newly born, these huge sharks were larger than an adult human.

The research, which was led by palaeobiologist Kenshu Shimada from DePaul University in Chicago, discovered the presence of 46 growth bands within the fossil that indicated, not only how the animal had grown over the years, but what size it had originally started out at.

"The new study is really the first of its kind for megalodon that has given us good insight into its size at birth, reproductive mode and growth pattern," said Shimada.

"Based on the sizes of the smallest known megalodon teeth, I had a hunch that the size at birth may be around two to 2.5 meters."

It is believed that, like some other shark species, megalodon juveniles may have reached such a large size by feeding on the unhatched eggs of their siblings while still in the womb.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (1)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado 2 years ago
Megalodon sharks ate their siblings in the womb! ( And you thought your family had issues.) ...is a better headline. BBC focus lol


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

 Total Posts: 7,332,085    Topics: 301,727    Members: 198,350

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles