A group of scientists discovered the fossil of an ancestor of megadolon, a gigantic shark historic extinctin a shark cemetery in the waters surrounding the Australian Cocos (Keeling) Islands, in the Indian Ocean, information from scientific sources.
The discovery occurred during a research trip aboard the scientific vessel Investigator, which belongs to the Australian scientific agency CSIRO, while searching the seabed of that remote area located halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka.
On that expedition, 750 mineralized fossils of shark teeth were recognizedof different modern and prehistoric predatory species, including those of the ancestor of the feared megadolon, which is believed to have measured between 10 and 19 metersaccording to a statement published today by CSIRO.
“This shark evolved into the megalodon, which It was the largest species of shark, although it became extinct about 3.5 million years ago.explained Western Australian Museum fish curator Glenn Moore, who was involved in the CSIRO research.
Although the megadolon is considered one of the most powerful predators in historyLittle evidence of its existence remains, such as its teeth, so its appearance and the maximum size it measured are uncertain, the statement added.
CSIRO researchers believe – from the tooth they found – that This relative of the megadolon measured about twelve meters.
On the scientific expedition of the Investigator ship, scientists also discovering new species of modern marine animalsmany of them unknown until now, such as a small striped horn shark, found off the coast of northwestern Australia.
“This species is unique to Australia, but has not yet been named or described. “This species that we have collected will be of great scientific importance,” noted Western Australian Museum fish curator Will White.
This type of shark, also known as horned shark (Heterodontus francisci), is animals that measure around one meter, with slow movements and they are usually found in shallow waters.
In addition, These animals generally remain hidden behind rocks or algae on the sea floor and go out at night to look for food, although the new species discovered in the CISRO expedition lives in waters more than 150 meters deep, according to the statement.
“From the new little sharks that live on the seabed to the enormous ancient megasharks that once crossed the oceansThese biodiversity studies provide us with vital information about life in our oceans,” said CISRO Chief Scientist John Keesing.