The study was published last year revealed the mighty Megalodon is actually a sea monster which we believe. As long as the body of an adult human is about 16 meters (52 feet) long with wings, they dwarfed other sea fish while they were alive.
Now, a new study published in the Historical Biology Journal claims that the descendants of these ocean giants were also giants in their own way, making their first few tail whales in the open sea already larger than most adults. The study examined the growth patterns and lifespan of megalodon, Otodus megalodon, to shed light on their reproductive biology.
Paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago and lead author of the study Dr Kenshu Shimada wrote in a statement, “As the largest carnivore of all time in the world, it is important to understand the role of the larger carnivores in terms of the evolution of marine ecosystems by explaining parameters such as growth.”
Using mathematical tomography (CT) scanning technology, Shimada and colleagues were able to see the ‘growth band’ at the megalodon vertebral specimens located at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. These bands, like tree rings, represent one more year in the life of each ring fish. The results revealed that a nine-meter-long shark had 46 bands in its spine, meaning it was 46 years old when it died.
This information could be used to back-calculate the shark’s body size at birth, which the researchers said was a tiny Bonnie megalodon measuring about 2 meters (6.6 feet) when it landed on Earth. They commented that this meant that megalodon gave birth alive and that these fish were able to snack on their siblings while they were waiting to be born.
The evil practice is known as oophagy or intrauterine normalization, and is found in all existing lamniform sharks, the study said. A famous story among shark biologists is that when a scientist bit the dead female tiger shark by a man-eating fetus that was still alive inside the ovary, it was spread. If the results are correct, it could mean that the Magellan babies were the largest baby sharks ever.
Megalodon sharks are a popular species among fans, regularly appearing in sci-fi movies like The Meg. Although the fossil record of these top predators is rich, we still do not know much about their biology. It is a common problem in cartilaginous fish, which is rarely found in the records of fossils other than teeth. This is why the discovery of their giant vertebrae represents an interesting opportunity to say academically, as scientists work to close the gap in our knowledge of these terrifying predators.