Examinations of a subset of about a hundred vertebrae – some the size of grapefruits – showed that the shark died at the age of 46. The researchers estimated that the life expectancy of megs is about 88 to 100 years, meaning their specimen was about “Middle-aged,” said Dr. Shimada. They also calculated the size of the shark in its earliest years and found that it was more than six and a half meters long at birth.
“It’s a really big kid,” said Mr. Cooper, who was not involved in the study.
To reach such a staggering size, the growing mists were able to bite each other, even in the womb, said Dr. Most sharks hatch from eggs in their mothers ’bodies and then are born as young pups. But cubs of some species are not friendly to roommates: when they hatch, they will begin to casually devour their outrageous siblings, helping them become bovine before they are born.
“It’s this big, calorie-dense nutritious meal that can help those embryos become bigger and faster,” said Allison Bronson, who studies fish development at Humboldt State University in Arcati, California, but was not included in the study.
With such a load, mini-megs could emerge, ready to catch it with potential predators or at least dwarf a large number of them. A craving appetite, along with warm-bloodedness, might be able to help them capture a lot of prey, allowing juvenile terrorists to accumulate even more.
Mr Cooper said the study provided key data on a poorly understood animal. He noted, however, that some of the calculations he used were based on data collected in the 1990s, when researchers relied more on large white sharks to assess aspects of megalodon anomaly. According to him, an excessive comparison between two animals can lead to “underestimation of some specific body dimensions”.
It is also difficult to know how representative this individual megalodon of its kind was, said Dr. Bronson. “There are a lot of variations in fish,” she said. “Even fish of the same age, the same species, can grow at very different speeds and reach really different sizes.”
Researchers can’t know how hard it would be to carry and give birth to six feet more puppies for megalo-moms. But “proportionately, even though this child is really big, so is an adult,” Mr Cooper said. At its maximum size, some megalodons could extend almost the length of a bowling alley – enough room to accommodate even a basketball-sized embryo.