HomePLANTS & ANIMALSECOLOGYNew research bites holes into theories about Megalodons

New research bites holes into theories about Megalodons

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A new study leaves large tooth marks in previous conclusions. The conclusion about the body shape of the Megalodon. Megalodon is one of the largest sharks that ever lived. 

The study makes use of a pioneering technique for analyzing sharks. Megalodons swam the Earth 15 to 3.6-million years ago. These are often portrayed as super-sized monsters in films. There is no dispute that they existed. Otodus megalodon are known only from their fossilized teeth and vertebrae. Studies suggest they reached lengths of up to 65 feet.

Additional fossil evidence has not yet been discovered. Scientists have modelled Megalodon bodies on those of modern great white sharks. Great whites are partially warm blooded. They belong to the lamniform shark order. Megalodons also belong to this order. They shared this partial warm bloodedness with great whites. 

Scientists thought some warm blood is an advantage. This can expand sharks’ swimming range. But it is now believed to increase swimming speed.

New research bites holes into theories about Megalodons
New research pokes holes into previous ideas about the Megalodon’s body shape. Credit: Phillip Sternes/DePaul/UCR

There are eight families of Lamniformes. Previous research took five species of warm-blooded Lamniformes. Scientists averaged their fin and body shapes. They proposed a general model for Megalodons. 

Scientists wanted to understand whether the five species used to determine Megalodon’s shape. That differed somehow from the rest of the order. This includes some sharks that are cold blooded. 

Scientists compared the five species to each other. They have used detailed field guide drawings. They performed quantitative comparisons of the sharks’ fin, head and body shapes.

Scientists found no general patterns that would allow them to tease out body shape differences. 

Others use actual organisms or photos of organisms for such comparisons. But the team has used two-dimensional drawing technique on sharks. 

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