Turns out Jason Statham’s The Meg wasn’t that far-fetched after all because megalodon sharks really were absolutely ginormous.
The megalodon shark was thrown into the spotlight a couple of years ago following the 2018 movie based on one of the giant sharks. Watching the film you’d think the shark was fictional – but it turns they once roamed the Earth’s oceans.
The prehistoric sharks are thought to have been around for centuries before becoming extinct around 3.6 million years ago.
Said to be the biggest shark in the world, megalodons were so massive that apparently their heads alone were the size of a car. Now imagine seeing that swimming up to you while paddle boarding.
Their whole bodies grew to the size of a school bus (around 50 feet in length) and, if that wasn’t horrifying enough, they would grow so big from supposedly eating their siblings in the womb.
This information comes following an new analysis being published on Monday, October 5. The study published in the international journal Historical Biology suggested that megalodon eggs hatch while still in the womb giving those that hatched first the opportunity to eat the other unhatched eggs.
Kenshu Shimada, lead author of the study and a professor of paleobiology at DePaul University, said to Business Insider:
‘Early-hatched’ embryos will begin to eat surrounding unhatched eggs. The consequence is that only a few pups will survive and develop, but each of those pups can become considerably large in body size at birth.
I was today years old when I found out baby sharks were known as ‘pups’. Also, after this distressing knowledge, I don’t think I’ll be able to look at an actual puppy the same ever again.
According to the Natural History Museum, the first megalodon fossils were discovered 20 million years ago with the large fish dominating the oceans for 13 million years.
While a full skeleton for the shark is yet to be created, the guestimates for the large stature comes from megalodon teeth which were found to be a whopping 18cm long. Fun fact: the word ‘megalodon’ actually means ‘large tooth’, said the NHM.
Emma Bernard who curates the NHM’s fossil fish collection explained what the sharks diets will have consisted of. She said, ‘With its large serrated teeth megalodon would have eaten meat – most likely whales and large fish, and probably other sharks. If you are that big you need to eat a lot of food, so large prey is required.’
How could is possibly eat a whole whale, I hear you ask? Megalodon’s jaws could apparently would span 2.7 by 3.4 metres wide.
Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She’s also UNILAD’s unofficial crazy animal lady.
Megalodons may have grown to the size of school buses by eating their shark siblings in the womb, new research suggests
Megalodon, Sharks, Size
World news – GB – Megalodon Sharks The Size Of School Buses Had Heads As Big As Cars