Cold waters could make megalodons so gigantic

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers have shown that megalodons that lived in cold waters could be much larger than their heat-loving counterparts.

These huge sharks varied greatly in size, but the largest individuals lived in the coldest waters – scientists came to this conclusion in a new study

Back in the 1800s, the German biologist Carl Bergmann first suggested that large animals tend to survive in cold climates better than small ones, because their large size allows them to store heat more efficiently.

Over time, due to selective evolution, this led to the fact that individuals of any species living in cold climates began to increase in size relative to their heat-loving relatives.

How does the size of a shark depend on water temperature?

More recently, a group of American scientists questioned whether this rule was true for Otodus megalodon , a prehistoric relative of the great white shark that lived in the world’s oceans from about 15 million to 3.6 million years ago.

What was the megalodon shark in fact – we have collected in a separate material for you all the facts about this prehistoric monster.

Since the cartilaginous skeletons of sharks are not usually fossilized, megalodon length estimates are based primarily on fossilized teeth and a few vertebrae. These estimates usually range from 15 to 20 m in length.

Scientists have found the teeth of these extinct animals at different distances from the equator, which allowed them to compare the size of sharks that lived in certain conditions.

Previously, scientists found that megalodon teeth found near the equator tended to be smaller than those found elsewhere. This prompted them to think that the equatorial regions could serve as “nursery” for sharks, which were mostly juveniles.

However, having reviewed the numerous existing studies on the size of megalodon teeth found at different latitudes, American scientists now suggest that these small teeth may have belonged to small adults that lived in warm waters.

With distance from the equator, the size of the teeth increased along with a decrease in water temperature. This fact is supported by the discoveries of the 19th century about the relationship between the size of the animal and the temperature of the environment, which are confirmed by numerous examples.


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