About the episode
He was huge and terrifying and…thin? New research suggests that the massive prehistoric megalodon shark was much less dense than previously thought.
We are, of course, constantly updating our ideas about extinct animals, in part because we discover new details with every technological advance or new fossil discovery.
So now we must also adjust our image of The Meg. It is not as huge as the great white shark, but it is longer and more slender. The researchers rely on analyzing an incomplete set of fossil vertebrae.
According to this group of scientists, some incorrect assumptions have been made about megalodons in the past. For example, a small white shark could have been used more than once as a model for comparison, even though clear anatomical differences could be identified. There are now different estimates of the length of the same fossil. Of course this doesn't help.
Previous research indicated that megalodon swam much slower than previously thought. This would fit the taller, slimmer body shape he should have according to this latest research.
But to be completely certain of what the animal one day looked like, it will still be necessary to find at least one complete skeleton. The encounter with this predator must have been massive and fast, or smooth and slow, and it was extremely terrifying either way.
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