A New Study Of Megalodon Fossils Suggests The Popular Depiction Of This Extinct Shark Species Is Inaccurate, And It May Have Been Thinner And Longer In Appearance

Steve - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

The megalodon is an extinct species of giant mackerel shark that lived about 23 to 3.6 million years ago.

It was the largest shark to have ever lived and was thought to look like a supersized version of the great white shark.

However, a team of scientists has revealed that the megalodon may actually have been longer and thinner in appearance.

In the past, an example of a great white was used to reconstruct the body of a megalodon, which suggested that the species measured approximately 52 feet in length and resembled the shape of great white sharks.

But, after analyzing the incomplete spine of a fossilized megalodon housed at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, scientists found that there were inconsistencies in the earlier reconstructions of the massive shark.

“The previously published reconstruction of megalodon skeleton and body shape looked very awkward,” stated Kenshu Shimada, one of the study’s authors and a paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago.

Great white sharks are often used as models for megalodon because they are both apex predators and close relatives with similar diets and characteristics.

Still, it is extremely difficult to piece together the history of ancient sharks because shark skeletons are mostly made of cartilage, so they don’t leave behind bony fossils that can be preserved.

As a result, scientists were left with only fossilized shark teeth, skin scales, or vertebrae to work with, producing quite a challenge for the experts trying to unravel the mystery behind the megalodon.

Steve – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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