Kenshu Shimada, professor of paleontology at DePaul University in Chicago, said megalodons are scientifically called Otodus megalodons. They grew to 50 feet and roamed the ocean 15 to 3.6 million years ago.
Doctoral student Jack Cooper, a fossil shark researcher at the Department of Biological Sciences at Swansea University in Wales, said that the 6.6-foot measurement is quite accurate and is consistent with other discoveries made by Megalodon nurseries in Panama and Spain. . the study.
He said that this research is of great significance, because there is no research on the reproduction of Megadontal.
In order to find the length of the animal at birth, the researchers observed a CT scan of the megatooth spine that was first discovered in Belgium in the 1
The specimen was considered 46 years old after death, so Shimada counted the growth zone back to the band ring and calculated the animal’s birth time. It is estimated that this particular shark was about 30 feet long when it died.
Survival of the fittest
These extinct marine creatures did not grow so large in luck.
When the big dragon tooth grows in the mother’s body, it will eat other unhatched eggs, which is called intrauterine cannibalism.
Shimada said: “The result of the behavior of eating eggs is that only a few cubs can survive and develop, but each cub will become quite large at birth.”
Their large size at birth reduces the chance of other large natural enemies eating baby Megalodon.
Some modern sharks (also large lobsters) belonging to the shark-shaped order also have this behavior.
Tiger sharks eat other unhatched eggs in the womb, and Shimada said they sometimes eat other hatched siblings.
He said that raising female great tiger sharks requires a lot of energy, but similar to Megalodon, this evolutionary strategy reduces their chance of being eaten after birth.
look forward to
Shimada, who wants to find out more, said that many things about giant sharks are still unknown. Since he was 13 years old, he discovered a 2-inch megatooth in a geological location outside Tokyo, he has been interested in the megatooth groove.
Although this study has revealed the birth of Megalodon, the specimen is only 46 years old, the middle-aged age of the animal.
Shimada hopes to study the old age of sharks, estimated to be between 88 and 100 years old, to understand how they grow.