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                Megalodon Babies Were Larger Than Adult Humans


                Research came out last year that revealed the mighty megalodon was indeed the ocean giant we believed it to be. At around 16 meters (52 feet) long with fins as long as an adult human’s body, they dwarfed other fish in the sea when they were alive. Now, a new study published in the journal Historical Biology has claimed that these ocean giants’ progeny were also giants in their own way, making their first few tail swishes in the open ocean at a size already larger than most adult humans.


                Rachael Funnel

                The study was investigating the growth pattern and life expectancy of megalodon, Otodus megalodon, to shed light on their reproductive biology. "As one of the largest carnivores that ever existed on Earth, deciphering such growth parameters of O. megalodon is critical to understand the role large carnivores play in the context of the evolution of marine ecosystems,” wrote paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago and lead author of the study Dr Kenshu Shimada in a statement.

                這項那把飞剑还停留在空中研究正在調查巨齒鯊的生長模式去吃饭吧和預期壽命,以闡明它→們的生殖生物學。“作為地球上曾經存在過的最大的食肉動物之一要对自己有所动作,破解巨齒鯊的生長參數對於理解∏大型食肉動物在海洋生態系統進化過程中所扮演难道师弟很弱么的角色至關重要※。”芝加哥德保羅大學的古光能调动出来生物學家,該研究●的第一作者Kenshu Shimada博士在一份聲明中寫︾道。

                Using computed tomography (CT) scanning technology, Shimada and colleagues were able to look at 'growth bands' in megalodon vertebral specimens, housed in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. These bands are similar to tree rings, with each ring representing another year in the fishes’ lifetime. The results revealed the vertebra of a shark estimated to be nine meters long had 46 bands, meaning it was 46 years old when it died.


                The vertebra of the extinct megatooth shark have growth rings like a tree, making it easier to estimate their age at death. DePaul University/Kenshu Shimada

                This information could be used to back-calculate the shark's body size at birth, which told the researchers that it was a wee bonny megalodon measuring around 2 meters (6.6 feet) when it came into the world. They posit that this suggests Megalodon gave live birth and that these fish were capable of snacking on their siblings while waiting to be born. The sinister practice is known as oophagy or intrauterine cannibalism, and is seen in all extant lamniform sharks, says that study. A famous tale among shark biologists describes the moment a scientist was dissecting a dead female tiger shark who was bitten by a cannibalistic embryo that had survived inside the oviduct. If the findings are correct, it could mean that megalodon babies were the largest ever baby sharks.


                Megalodon is a popular species among shark fans, regularly featuring in sci-fi movies such as The Meg. While the fossil record of these apex predators is rich, we still don’t know very much about their biology. This is a common problem in cartilaginous fish, who rarely leave much to be found in the fossil record other than teeth. This is why the discovery of their gigantic vertebrae represents such an exciting opportunity academically speaking, as scientists work to close the gap in our knowledge of these fearsome hunters.

                巨齒鯊在鯊魚迷中很受歡迎,經〖常出現在《巨齒鯊》等科幻電影几人并没有急着出手中。雖然這些頂端食肉動物的化石記錄很豐富,但我們仍然不太了解它們的生物學。這在∑ 軟骨魚類中是一個常見的問題,除了牙齒以外,在化石但是九幻可不是寻常人記錄中,軟骨魚類很少留下其他東西。這就是為什麽發現它們巨大的脊椎骨在學话術上代表著如此令人興奮的機會,因為科學家們正在努力縮小我們對這些可怕的很快獵人的了解。


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