Megalodon wasn’t as chonky as a fantastic white shark, consultants say

These are the kinds of shark teeth discovered in burial sites and other ceremonial remains of the inland Maya communities. From left to right, there's a fossilized megalodon tooth, great white shark tooth, and bull shark tooth.

Enlarge / These are the sorts of shark tooth found in burial websites and different ceremonial stays of the inland Maya communities. From left to proper, there is a fossilized megalodon tooth, nice white shark tooth, and bull shark tooth. (credit score: Antiquity)

The megalodon, a large shark that went extinct some 3.6 million years in the past, is known for its totally monumental jaws and correspondingly large tooth. Current research have proposed that the megalodon was sturdy species of shark akin to at present’s nice white sharks, solely 3 times longer. And identical to the good white shark impressed Jaws, the megalodon has additionally impressed a 1997 novel and a blockbuster movie (2018’s The Meg)—to not point out a controversial little bit of “docu-fiction” on the Discovery Channel.  However now a crew of 26 shark consultants are difficult the good white shark comparability, arguing that the super-sized creature’s physique was extra slender and presumably even longer than researchers beforehand thought in a brand new paper printed within the journal Paleontologia Electronica.

“Our examine means that the fashionable nice white shark could not essentially function an excellent trendy analogue for assessing no less than sure facets of its biology, together with its dimension,” co-author Kenshu Shimada, a palaeobiologist at DePaul College in Chicago, advised The Guardian. “The fact is that we’d like the invention of no less than one full megalodon skeleton to be extra assured about its true dimension as effectively its physique type.” Up to now, no person has discovered a whole specimen, solely fossilized tooth and vertebrae.

As beforehand reported, the most important shark alive at present, reaching as much as 20 meters lengthy, is the whale shark, a sedate filter feeder. As just lately as four million years in the past, nonetheless, sharks of that scale probably included the fast-moving predator megalodon (formally Otodus megalodon). On account of incomplete fossil information, we’re not fully certain how massive megalodons have been and may solely make inferences primarily based on a few of their residing relations, like the good white and mako sharks.

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