A 3D model developed by researchers shows that the extinct giant shark, or megalodon, was larger and more agile than paleontologists had previously thought, according to reports. New York times.
Megalodon has dominated the sea for millions of years. The huge shark reached a length of up to eighteen meters and its mouth could open up to two meters, and it did not have any animal enemies.
Despite the fame of the giant shark, the exact size and shape of the animal has long been in dispute for researchers. To find out more, they compared the teeth of the giant shark with living relatives such as the shortfin mako shark and the great white shark. In this way they tried to find out the dimensions of the animal.
New 3D models offer new insights
Wednesday came the magazine science progress With a post on new 3D modeling of the shark, providing new insights into the outside world. Megalodon will be bigger, faster and wider than initially thought.
The new measurement is based in part on scans of a preserved spine discovered in 1860 and kept at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Teeth were also used from megalodon and a full-body scan of a great white shark, which is very similar to megalodon.
Measurements showed that the studied megalodon was the size of a whale shark. Dr. said. Pimiento about this. He is a paleontologist at Swansea University in Wales.
There are other fossilized vertebrae 50 percent larger than those in the model, according to Pimento, which would account for the length of a modern humpback whale. Megalodon’s jaws can open wide enough to eat an adult orca in just five bites.
How reliable is such computer modeling?
Dr. said. Hutchinson, an anatomist at the Royal Veterinary College, London.
But some researchers point out that the model is based on assumptions about megalodons that have not been confirmed in the fossil record.
“The size and shape of other skeletal components, such as the skull, jaws and all the fins, is still my guess,” said Kensho Shimada, professor of palaeontology at DePaul University in Chicago.
However, if the team’s model is correct, it will have repercussions for the formidable predators’ cruising speed — how fast the animal can get from point A to point B — and appetite. Dr. said. Pimiento, which is much faster than the 33 other sharks they studied. Among the sharks found, the fastest sailing speed belongs to the salmon shark, which can reach about two miles per hour.
Given that the slower great white shark can travel nearly 7,000 miles without stopping to take advantage of seasonal prey, megalodon likely could go much further, according to the researchers. This will also be necessary to be able to adequately feed themselves.
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