Megalodons are widely considered the largest shark to ever live on earth, and according to experts, these predators used to grow up to 60 feet in length. Now, a new study report has suggested that these creatures have reached such incredible size due to their cannibalistic behavior. According to researchers who took part in this study, early hatched embryos of this massive giant may have eaten other eggs while still inside their mother's bodies.
Size of Megalodon and Cannibalism
The study report suggested that the cannibalistic traits of megalodon began even during their embryo stage, and this killing trait played a crucial role in determining the mammoth size of these giants.
During the study, researchers analyzed megalodon's modern relatives known as lamniform, which comprised of great white sharks, and sand tiger sharks. Scientists made this finding after measuring the teeth of these modern sharks. They also revealed that the teeth of a megalodon were as large as a human hand.
"Lamniform sharks have represented major carnivores in oceans since the age of dinosaurs, so it is reasonable to assert that they must have played an important role in shaping the marine ecosystems we know today," said Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago and lead author of the study, in a recent statement.
Martin Becker, the co-author of this study which is now published in the Historical Biology revealed that the new finding could advanced understanding of the evolution of this marine giant.
Sharks: Species That Survived All Major Extinction Events
Researchers believe that sharks are of those few species who have survived all the five mass extinction events that happened on the earth. A recent research report had suggested that the great white sharks have been living in the Meditteranean, at least for the past 3.2 million years, a time span longer than the previous speculation.
According to experts, the great white sharks might have outmaneuvered megalodon, and this might have resulted in the extinction of these giant creatures. However, some other experts believe that megalodon sharks were wiped off from the waters by an exploding star around 2.6 million years ago.