Megalodon- Biggest Predatory Shark on Earth
The scientists have recently come across a rare collection of 150 megalodon vertebrae which are the only reasonably preserved vertebral column of the species in the entire world. The cartilage of the megalodon was mineralised.
- The researchers analysed these skeletal fossils of an adult Otodus megalodon.
- The skeleton was measured about 30 feet (9 meters) long when it died.
- The size of the skeleton was measured so as to calculate the size of megalodon babies.
- To calculate the size, they analysed the “growth rings” in pieces of the shark’s preserved skeleton. The study was conducted in a similar manner of studying the rings in tree trunks to determine the age of the tree.
- While studying the earliest growth ring or the “band at birth”, the researchers calculated that the body length of the Shark as a newborn was around 6.6 feet (2 metres).
- This has come out to be in size as big as an average basketball player and bigger than any of the newborn known shark.
- Megalodon are also called as Otodus megalod.
- It is an extinct species of shark who were found around 23 to 3.6 million years ago. Their existence date back to the Early Miocene to the Pliocene. They dominated the water on Earth.
- The species is classified into the extinct family Otodontidae.
- The species used to give birth to cannibalistic babies that were as large as an average basketball player.
- It is considered to be the biggest predatory shark that ever lived.
- The largest of the species estimated to have the size of about 66 feet (20 metres).
Which Class they belonged to?
The species belonged to Chondrichthyes class of fishes. This class also comprises of all the other sharks, skates, and rays. The skeletons of all the species in this category is made of cartilage rather than hard bone.