If you think, 2018 blockbuster The Meg terrified you enough about the greatest sharks to ever roam the earth; or the Jaws installment, for that sake, made sharks the creature of nightmares, you’re up for a scientific surprise.
A group of scientists from the University of Bristol and Swansea University has come up with a conclusive idea about how big the prehistoric predator was, one detail of what includes massive dorsal fins the size of an adult man.
Until now, all the sketches of the mega creatures were drawn from the allometric understanding the limited resources gave to the researchers.
Having gone extinct some 23m – 3m years ago, scientists only had so much to draw conclusions about their entire body size. For instance, there are only a scattered few pieces of Megalodon teeth for researchers to toy with.
So far, all the body-size estimates of the mega-shark were made based on the teeth collection and comparing them to their apparent modern relatives – the Great White sharks.
Size comparision of Megalodon tooth (right) versus present day great white shark’s (left) [Image via
“This can be problematic as the two species likely belong to different families,” researchers write in the paper published in the journal Nature.
Great White sharks, which starred in the ‘Jaws’ installment are thought to be the most closest modern-day Great White sharks that fare upto 6 meter in length.
But unlike previous estimates of Megaladon’s size, this time the UK researchers “made morphological extrapolations to infer body dimensions of †O. megalodon at different sizes.”
And the results were jaw-dropping. Turns out, the Megaladon beast (scientifically called †Otodus megalodon) was a gigantic 16 plus meters in length with a head 4.65 meter long, a 1.62m tall dorsal fin, the size of some adult humans, and a 3.85m high tail, easily making it one of the world’s most fearsome predator to have ever roamed the earth.
Have you watched The Meg? The movie is largely based on a stray Megalodon that shows up in modern times. Let us know your thoughts below.