Using fossil evidence to create a three-dimensional model, researchers have found new evidence for the life of one of the greatest predators of all time, the megalodon.
As heavy as 10 elephants
According to the study, the Megalodon was larger than a school bus at about 50 feet from nose to tail. By comparison, today’s great white sharks can reach a maximum length of around 15 feet. Using their numerical model, the researchers suggested that the giant transoceanic predator would have weighed around 70 tonnes, or up to 10 elephants.
Megalodons roamed the oceans around 23 to 2.6 million years ago.
Faster than today’s sharks
Using a previously established relationship between speed and body mass, the researchers calculated that Megalodon had a faster average cruising speed than sharks today. According to the research team, Megalodon had the ability to migrate across multiple oceans.
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3D modeling research
The technique was used because the skeleton of Megalodon is made of soft cartilage that does not fossilize well. Using available fossils, mostly comprising teeth and a rare collection of vertebrae that have been in a Belgian museum since the 1860s, computer modeling has been used to reconstruct the entire body of the extinct macropredatory shark and the largest known . “We completed the model by adding ‘flesh’ around the skeleton using a full body scan of C carcharias (great white shark),” the researchers said.