Megalodon is considered the largest shark in the history of planet Earth, but here's the paradox - we still don't know its true size. No one has seen the superpredator that died out 20 million years ago, and its remains have not survived. Like modern sharks, the skeleton of the megalodon was made of short-lived cartilage, and therefore the only evidence for the existence of this sea monster is its giant teeth. Because of this, there are many options for estimating shark sizes and a new one has recently been proposed.
Scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Swansea (UK) proceeded from the fact that we do not know the direct descendants of the megalodon, which it could look like. Therefore, they took five of the most similar sharks: great white, herring shark, salmon and two mako, long-tailed and short-tailed. Observation has shown that with normal development in all these species, the proportions of the body are maintained as they grow.
If we assume that the megalodon lived the same way, then we can simply take the growth curves of five modern shark species and, based on them, deduce some averaged proportions. Next, we substitute the dimensions of the fossil teeth into the formulas and we find that the body length of the megalodon was at least one meter longer than the current minimum values, 16 m instead of 15. The head length was 4.65 m, the dorsal fin rose by 1.62 m, and the tail size exceeded 3, 8 m.
It is also interesting that in the course of comparing the proportions of the bodies, scientists redrawn the shape of the megalodon anew. An alpha predator must be effective in hunting, so the monster was credited with an elongated body adapted for high-speed movement under water. New data indicate that the megalodon was a voluminous creature, with a wide midsection and probably not at all fast.