Seven legends about the ancient giant shark 'Megalodon', which is too big in scale, such as '8 times heavier than an elephant' and '10 times more biting power than a Tyrannosaurus'
greenland shark as a vertebrate and the world's largest glowing vertebrate, the kitefin shark. Under such circumstances, the science news site Live Science explains the ancient giant shark 'Megalodon ', which is said to have the largest physique in history as a predator.
Many sharks have incredible abilities and characteristics, such as the longest-lived
7 megalodon shark facts that will blow your mind | Live Science
◆ 1: The fossil tooth was thought to be the 'dragon's tongue'
Megalodon's teeth can reach 10-12 cm in length, so people in medieval Europe thought that the fossils of Megalodon's teeth were petrified by the tip of the dragon's tongue. There is also a record that around the 17th century, Megalodon's teeth were prized as a mysterious amulet to eliminate poison.
Since Megalodon is a cartilaginous fish, the skeleton of the whole body is not usually found, but fossil teeth are relatively common. This is because the teeth of Megalodon are regenerated every 1 to 2 weeks, and it is estimated that one Megalodon will make about 40,000 teeth in a lifetime. Some of these teeth sank to the bottom of the sea and became fossils, which are the teeth of Megalodon that remain today.
◆ 2: Weighed more than eight times as much as an elephant
According to one theory, Megalodon reached 17.9 meters in length and weighed up to 65 tons. Given that African elephants weigh between 5.8 and 7.5 tonnes, Megalodon weighs more than eight times as much as the largest living terrestrial animal, the African elephant. Compared to the average length of the Great White Shark, known as the modern cannibal shark, which is 4 to 4.9 meters and weighs 680 to 1100 kg, you can see how huge Megalodon was.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc./Patrick O'Neill Riley
◆ 3: The strongest biting power in history
Megalodon's jaw power is said to be 6 to 10 times that of Tyrannosaurus, which is stronger than any known animal. It is estimated that the occlusal force of Megalodon was up to 180,000 Newtons or more. In comparison, Great White Sharks have a quotient force of 18,219 Newtons and humans have only 1317 Newtons.
◆ 4: Dominates the earth many times longer than humankind
The oldest fossil of Megalodon is said to be 20 million years old, and is believed to have reigned over the ocean as one of the largest predators for about 17 million years before it became extinct 3.6 million years ago. I am. In comparison, it has only been about 300,000 years since the advent of humanity, Homo sapiens.
Some scientists say that Megalodon has been at the top of the food chain for so long because it was one of the largest predators in the ocean, blocking the growth of other animals and preventing them from becoming a threat. .. A 2014 study on megalodon habitat and whale evolution found that whales grew rapidly shortly after the extinction of megalodon.
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◆ 5: There was a rival called 'Leviathan'
Megalodon is a very large shark, but at the same time it was also home to the large whale, Leviathan melvillei , which can reach 3 to 18 meters in length. The scientific name of Leviathan Melvillei is named after Leviathan , a sea monster in the Old Testament.
It is unknown whether Livyatan Melvillei fought directly against Megalodon, but since it is known that Livyatan Melvillei had long and sharp teeth, it is speculated that there was a competition for survival between the two over food in the sea at that time. It has been.
◆ 6: Megalodon baby was cannibalizing in his mother's tummy
The Megalodon foetation secured a space to eat and grow siblings in the womb of the mother before birth, and was said to have reached 2 meters in length at the time of delivery. Cannibalism by shark foets is called 'intrauterine cannibalism,' and similar behavior has been observed in great white sharks.
◆ 7: Megalodon became extinct in cold water
Megalodon, which has dominated the Earth's oceans for a long time, has its habitat significantly narrowed as the Earth began to cool about 3.6 million years ago. Megalodon is said to have been a 'medium-temperature animal' that cannot maintain a constant body temperature like a homeothermic animal, but has the ability to maintain a higher body temperature than the surrounding seawater due to special blood vessels and muscles. However, at the end of the Pliocene , the seawater temperature dropped and the sea began to freeze, and whales, seals, and sea turtles that were food escaped to the cold sea, and eventually became extinct.