Baby megalodons were a 6-foot-long uterine progenitor, the study suggests

A subset scan of its nearly hundreds of vertebrae – the size of some grapefruit – showed that the shark had died at the age of 46. Researchers estimated that Maggie’s age was about 88 to 100 years, suggesting that her sample was approx. “Middle-aged,” Dr. Shi. Shimada said. They also back-counted the size of the shark in its early years and found that it was probably more than six and a half feet long when it was born.

“He’s a really big kid,” said Mr. Cooper, who was not involved in the study.

To reach such an odd size, berging mags can snack on each other while in the womb, says Dr. Shimda said. Most sharks hatch from eggs inside their mother’s body, then hatched as live young. But cubs of some breeds do not keep room mates kind: once broken, they will accidentally start eating their unruly siblings, helping them to flesh up before birth.

“This is this big, calorie-rich, nutritious meal that helps make the fetus grow faster and faster,” said Alison Brunson, who studied fish evolution at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. .

By doing such a great job, the mini-mags may be willing to duke it out with a potential predator, or at least dwarf a good number of them. With a vague appetite, hot-bloodedness, they would have helped snurf down plenty of prey, allowing the teenager to increase the fear even more.

Mr Cooper said the study provided crucial data about the poorly understood animal. But he noted that some of the calculations he used were based on data he collected in the 1990s, while researchers relied heavily on the great white shark to estimate aspects of the megalodon anatomy. Due to the close comparison between the two animals, he said, “certain body dimensions are underestimated.”

D Br. “It’s also hard to know how representative this individual megalodon is to its species,” Bronson said. “There’s a lot of variety in fish,” she said. “Fish of the same age, even the same species, can grow at really different rates and can actually reach different sizes.”

Researchers don’t know how difficult it was for megalo-moms to carry a six-plus papple. But, “relatively, when that kid is really big, so is that adult,” Mr Cooper said. At maximum size, some megalodons can extend the approximate length of the bowling lane – even plenty of space to keep a basketball-l-player-sized embryo.