Megalodon babies ate their unhatched siblings in the womb

Megalodon babies ate their unhatched siblings in the womb

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Screenshot from Discovery Network’s “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” TV show.

Screenshot by Dara Kerr / CNET

Megalodon was one of the most dreaded aquatic predators to scare off the Earth’s oceans, reaching at least 50 feet (15 m) in length (yes, The 2018 film takes some freedom on that front). But if you think that, millions of years after extinction, it had already reached the peak of its ability to scare people with water, think again.

According to the research, to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Historical Biology, Megalodon not only gave birth to the world’s largest shark babies, but he achieved this shape (in part) by dabbling in a practice called Nofegi ​​- Young. did. The sharks ate their underdeveloped siblings.

Researchers in Chicago and New Jersey note that megalodon babies, like contemporary lamniform sharks, will also feed unwanted eggs in the womb to develop. This was certainly the result of fewer sharks, but those who survived this deadly sibling rivalry were much larger than an adult human.

Using CT scanning techniques, a team using multiple X-rays to reconstruct 3D structures on vertebrate fossils housed at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, team megalodon’s body length. Was able to calculate. Birth – with a result of a length of about 6.6 feet (2 m).

Paleobologist at DePaul University, Kenshu Shimada said, “Bypassing such growth parameters of O. megalodon, one of the largest carnivores on Earth, which is important for understanding the large carnivorous role in the context of marine ecosystem development . ” In Chicago and lead author of the study.

Additionally, the study was able to determine that the shark grew at an average rate of 6.3 inches (16 cm) per year for the first half of its life, with the growth curve model indicating that the shark had a life expectancy of 88–100 years. .

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