Extinct megalodon confirmed as the biggest fish in the sea

That is an illustrated reconstruction of an grownup megalodon.

Oliver E. Demuth

Of all of the residing fish within the sea, we all know the whale shark to be the largest. At as much as eight or 9 meters (roughly 28 ft), they eclipse all the opposite sharks alive within the ocean — and females reign supreme in the size stakes. But it surely actually wasn’t all the time the case, as scientists have lastly confirmed.

Printed in Historical Biology, a examine has confirmed that the now-extinct Otodus megalodon, or megatooth shark, as soon as reached as much as 15 meters (49 ft) in size — surpassing the present-day whale shark by virtually seven meters (22 ft).

Usually portrayed as a huge monster of a shark in movies like 2018’s The Meg, the actual megalodon was a far cry from the 75 foot beast that makes cinema-goers shriek. However even when the size wasn’t fairly what the flicks make it out to be, the Meg actually was the largest fish within the sea for some time.

The examine proved the shark’s size by utilizing measurements taken from present-day lamniforms (the shark group to which the megalodon belonged) to estimate the physique size of extinct types, all by evaluating their enamel. It additionally confirmed that the megalodon’s dimension was an outlier, doubling the final restrict of smaller lamniforms.

Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist at DePaul College in Chicago and lead writer of the examine, mentioned in a press launch, “Lamniform sharks have represented main carnivores in oceans for the reason that age of dinosaurs, so it’s cheap to say that they will need to have performed an necessary function in shaping the marine ecosystems we all know right this moment.”

Co-authors and professors of environmental science at William Paterson College Michael Griffiths and Martin Becker mentioned “That is compelling proof for the really distinctive dimension of megalodon,” and “This work represents a important development in our understanding of the evolution of this ocean large,” respectively.

However whereas the scale sounds intimidating and the thought of a huge megatooth shark roaming the ocean may need some quaking of their flippers, relaxation assured that outdoors of Hollywood you’ve got obtained nothing to worry from the now-extinct predator.

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Steph Panecasio