Author Topic: Megalodon  (Read 4944 times)

leshy
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Megalodon
« on: December 03, 2008, 06:35:07 PM »
Ancient Giant Shark Had Strongest Bite Ever, Model Says
Ker Than for National Geographic News
August 5, 2008


Prehistoric megalodon—literally "megatooth"—sharks had the most powerful bite of any creature that has ever lived, according to a new model.

Its bite was strong enough to crush an automobile and far exceeded that of the great white shark and even Tyrannosaurus rex.

Known mostly from the large teeth it left behind, Carcharodon megalodon first appeared in Earth's seas about 16 million years ago (in the Neogene period) and dined on giant prehistoric turtles and whales.

"Megalodon's killing strategy was to bite the tails and flippers off large whales, effectively taking out their propulsion systems," said study leader Stephen Wroe of the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The prehistoric shark may have grown to lengths of over 50 feet (16 meters) and weighed up to 30 times more than the largest great white.

"A great white is about the size of the clasper, or penis, of a male megalodon," said Peter Klimley a shark expert at the University of California at Davis, who was not involved with the current research.

"Could Have Crushed a Small Car"

Wroe and his colleagues extrapolated the bite force of megalodon from data they collected from great whites.

The team created a computer model of a great white's skull, jaw, and head muscles from images generated by a computerized tomography (CT) scanner.

They then ran "crash test" simulations with the model to reveal the stresses and strains it could withstand and the strength of its bite.

The team estimated a great white could generate a maximum bite force of about 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms).

Because megalodon was much bigger than a great white, it might have chomped down on prey with a force of between 24,000 to 40,000 pounds (10,900 to 18,100 kilograms), the researchers say.

"At [40,000 pounds], I reckon it could have crushed a small car," Wroe told National Geographic News.

"Of course it would probably have broken most of its teeth in the exercise."

For comparison, T. rex, one of the largest land carnivores of all time, had a bite force that has been estimated at only 6,834 pounds (3,100 kilograms).

The work will be detailed in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Zoology.

Jaw Structure

Most of what is known about megalodon comes from the study of its teeth, which have features that suggest they were arranged in a broad mouth. And animals with broad mouths typically have short snouts.

Animals with short snouts, furthermore, generally have more leverage when they bite and generate more force in the up-and-down direction, scientists say.

Klimley, of the University of California, said megalodon's powerful bite is consistent with the theory that the ancient shark had a pug nose.

Chuck Ciampaglio, a paleontologist at Wright State University in Ohio, is more skeptical.

Megalodon was likely not a direct ancestor of great whites, Ciampaglio said, so it "may have quite a different skull and jaw structure."

Also, megalodon may have used fewer muscles to power its bite than the model predicts.

"As an animal becomes larger, much more of the animal's weight is consumed by support structures, not muscles," Ciampaglio said.

Regina Terra

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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 07:43:06 PM »
OOOooohhh, I want one now as a pet!!! I'd ride it around like a giant surfboard and attack tourists. xD
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 07:57:19 PM »
hmmm. . . 50ft, think less surfboard and more sail ship. . .
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 08:05:28 PM »
hmmm. . . 50ft, think less surfboard and more sail ship. . .
OOOooohhh... O.O

Now I REALLY want one. xD
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 12:13:42 AM »
Do you think it would be possible for Megaladon to take on a sperm whale and live? It seems to me ever since the demise of this species, sharks have gotten a lot smaller while whales on the other hand, have increased tremendously in size. Just a thought.
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 07:12:45 AM »
Actually, whales have gotten a bit smaller too. Back then, a Blue Whale would have been of about average size relative to everything else.

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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 03:36:39 PM »
mmmm. . . I think whale whale was megaladon's meal of choice. . .
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 06:18:15 PM »
A while ago I saw a show that posed the Meg vs. Sperm Whale question to a group of scientists. They ended up making the conclusion that provided the Med got a disabling bite in before the rest of the pod started to fight it off, the meg would survive & come back to finish the carcass after the pod had abandoned it.

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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2008, 09:37:03 PM »
But with it's slight size superiority over the Meg, wouldn't a sperm whale be able to drive the shark away with repeated charges?
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2008, 09:40:53 PM »
Not if it is crippled, it says that the megalodon(?) actually bit off the tales and flippers of whales, you can't do much charging without being able to swim. At Least that's what the scientists say.
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2008, 09:43:41 PM »
So the Meg's better maneuverability would give it a winning edge over a larger foe?
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2008, 09:48:37 PM »
I guess, but this is the first time I've even HEARD of the shark. ^.^
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 05:08:44 AM »
Yes, its agility would give it the edge. Also, most large sharks like the Megalodon and the Great White don't normally kill their prey outright. They usually deal it a mortal wound, then leave to let the animal bleed out, and come back later to eat in peace. This keeps them from losing too many teeth, chancing a broken jaw bone in the case of the Great White, or torn cartilidge in the case of the Megalodon. It also helped to prevent other injuries and kept energy expenditure/food intake relations maximized, among other things.

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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2008, 12:28:31 AM »
I see.  In that case, all it'd take to win the fight was for the Meg to ambush the whale from below with a devastating bite and then withdraw swiftly, leaving the mammal to perish slowly. You've got to admire the sneakiness of the big fish.
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Re: Megalodon
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2010, 11:25:17 PM »
Ooh, I find the topic of prehestoric sea-life quite hypo.

Yes, I, as a few wise people also would (I hope nearly all of you) admire the tactics and lifestyle of the great Megalodon (I cannot believe I am posting in this old thread). I mean, if you look at the fauna it was living with in its time, you see why the tactic of attacking from under would make a divine approach to getting himself a good meal. I mean, if, lets say, he was to attack a toothed whale, what risk would he be taking to get his head chomped off? Of course, with the presumed size of the whale it wouldn't be able to reach under himself that quickly, so to just gradually eat it alive until it bled to death would be a reasonable attack tactic.

That is all, my fingers are getting numb.
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