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Monday, October 10, 2016

A new mysterious ancient shark of Megalodon relatives found

Recently, the researchers have revealed the existence of an ancient predator who used to swim in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans some 20 million years ago. The existence of the ancient predators which are the relatives of Megalodon (ancestor of the great white shark) is revealed through the discovery of fossilized teeth.
Megalodon, the relatives of a newly discovered ancient sharks species named Megalolamna paradoxodon. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1eeSUO)
The newly discovered species was named 'Megalolamna paradoxodon.' And the name of "paradoxodon" refers to the fact that the car-sized shark appeared so suddenly in the geological record after appearing separately by the nearest relative, Otodus, about 45 million years ago.

"When I first saw, the teeth of Megalolamna paradoxodon like a giant tooth of the genus Lamna," said Kenshu Shimada of DePaul University of Chicago who discovered it, as quoted of Science Alert on Tuesday, October 4, 2016.

"Even so these fossilized teeth were too strong for the Lamna. So we decided this is a new species that is not related to Lamna. In fact, the teeth features reminiscent of the genus Otodus," he added.
Distribution map of Megalolamna paradoxodon. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1eeSUO)
So far, only five teeth with a length of 5 cm have been found in several areas such as California, North Carolina, Japan and Peru. This research has been published in the journal Historical Biology.

Based on the fossil findings, researchers estimate that this new type of shark grows to about 3.7 meters, more smaller than its sibling Megalodon which can grow to 18 meters. However, the species is still large enough to prey on medium-sized fish. Their teeth are also strong enough to grip and slicing prey.

"These facts were interesting, the sharks are spread geographically unknown until today, shows how little we know about the knowledge of ancient marine ecosystems," said Shimada.

Another interesting thing, these close relative of Megalodon shark has a bite is more powerful than T-rex and has been swimming across most of the globe around 20 million years ago. Even more mysteriously, until now the scientists did not know the causes of extinction of these sharks. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE ALERT]
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