Megalodon ate an animal the size of a pinch at a time

Megalodon ate an animal the size of a pinch at a time

An international group of researchers has reconstructed the appearance and habits of megadogon, and scientists have used fossilized remains in their work, and the results show that the predator could fully absorb the prey the size of modern-day gutters and then swim without food for two months.

The reconstructed megalodon was 16 metres long and weighed over 61 tons. Scientists believed that it was swimming at a speed of 1.4 metres per second. The organ of an ancient predator consumed more than 98,000 kcals per day and his stomach was larger than 10,000 litres. This was sufficient to travel long distances and to eat at once prey up to 8 metres long.

Although many of the teeth of a giant shark's ancestor have been found among the fossils, other parts of the body are extremely rare. Megalodone skeletons are made up of cartilage and therefore rarely fossilize. Scientists have used rare discovery — the spine of a giant shark from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences — for computer modelling.

Researchers measured and scanned each spinal column and recovered the whole pole, and using dental models, they reconstructed the jaws. To complete the model, they used the muscle structure of a large white shark.

Weight is one of the most important characteristics of any animal. For extinct animals, we can estimate body mass using modern digital 3D modelling techniques and then establish a relationship between mass and other biological properties, such as speed and energy use.

Researchers believe that the high energy demand of megadones could be met by feeding calorie-rich whales with fat, as confirmed by earlier findings: the fossils of whales with traces of megalodon bite, while feeding models showed that eating one 8-metre-long whale could allow sharks to swim thousands of kilometres across the oceans without food for two months.