Body size of the extinct Megalodon indeed off the charts in the shark world — ScienceDaily

A new study shows that the body size of the iconic gigantic or megatooth shark, about 15 meters (50 feet) in length, is indeed anomalously large compared to body sizes of its relatives.

Formally called Otodus megalodon, the fossil shark that lived nearly worldwide roughly 15-3.6 million years ago is receiving a renewed look at the significance of its body size in the shark world, based on a new study appearing in the international journal Historical Biology.

Otodus megalodon is commonly portrayed as a super-sized, monstrous shark, in novels and films such as the 2018 sci-fi thriller “The Meg,” but it is known that the scientifically justifiable maximum possible body size for the species is about 15 meters (50 feet). Nonetheless, it is still an impressively large shark, and the new study illuminates exactly how uniquely gigantic the shark was, according to Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist at DePaul University

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Extinct megalodon confirmed as the biggest fish in the sea

megalodonillustration

This is an illustrated reconstruction of an adult megalodon.


Oliver E. Demuth

Of all the living fish in the sea, we know the whale shark to be the biggest. At up to eight or nine meters (roughly 28 feet), they eclipse all the other sharks alive in the ocean — and females reign supreme in the size stakes. But it certainly wasn’t always the case, as scientists have finally confirmed.

Published in Historical Biology, a study has confirmed that the now-extinct Otodus megalodon, or megatooth shark, once reached up to 15 meters (49 feet) in length — surpassing the present-day whale shark by almost seven meters (22 feet).

Generally portrayed as a gigantic monster of a shark in films like 2018’s The Meg, the real megalodon was a far cry from the 75

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