Megalodons Are Cannibals? Giant Sharks Ate Ancient Food, Possibly Including Predators
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons) Researchers found clear evidence that Megalodon and some of its predecessors were at the highest rung of the ancient food chain which is called by scientists as the ‘highest trophic level.’

A team of researchers from Princeton has recently found clear evidence that Megalodon and some of its predecessors were at the highest rung of the ancient food chain which is called by scientists as the “highest trophic level.”

As specified in a ScienceDaily report, the animals’ trophic signature is very high that they must have eaten other predators, as well as predators of predators in a complex food web, the researchers said.

The new study exhibits that prehistoric megatooth sharks, the largest sharks that ever lived, were apex predators at the highest level ever gauged.

Megatooth sharks are getting their names from their huge teeth, which can each be larger compared to a human hand. The group also includes Megalodon, the biggest shark that ever lived, and many other related species.

(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Researchers found clear evidence that Megalodon and some of its predecessors were at the highest rung of the ancient food chain which is called by scientists as the ‘highest trophic level.’

Megatooth Sharks Measured

According to 2019 PhD graduate Emma Kast, the first author of the new study published in the current issue of the journal, Science Advances, “ocean food webs do tend to be longer” compared to the grass-deer-wolf food chain of land animals since one begins with such tiny organisms.

Kast, currently at the University of Cambridge who wrote the study’s first iteration also said, to reach the trophic levels they are gauging in these megatooth sharks, they do not just need to add one trophic level.

This means a single apex predator atop the marine food chain. More so, there is a need to add some onto the top of the modern marine food web.

Essentially, megalodon has been conservatively approximated at 15 meters in length or 50 feet, while modern great white sharks usually top out roughly five meters or 15 feet.

To come up with a conclusion about the ancient marine food web, Kast, together with their colleagues, employed a novel approach to measure the nitrogen isotopes in the teeth of the sharks.

Cannibalism

Ecologists have long known that the more nitrogen-15 has, the higher the level of its level, although scientists have never been able to gauge the small amounts of nitrogen preserved in the enamel layer of the teeth of these extinct predators.

According to Zixuan Rao, a graduate student and co-author of the current study, there’s a series of shark teeth from different time periods, and they were able to trace the animal’s trophic level versus their size.

One way of tucking an extra or two trophic levels is cannibalism, and numerous lines of evidence are pointing to that in both megatooth sharks, as well as other prehistoric marine predators.

Nitrogen in What Megalodons Ate

In a similar Phys.org report, it was specified that “a few plants, algae, and other species” at the food web’s bottom have mastered the skill of turning nitrogen from the water or air into nitrogen in their tissues.

What did #Megalodon eat? Anything it wanted, including other predators @princeton @ScienceAdvances https://t.co/H1TlTXm1Ye https://t.co/JJKpmaHWm6

— Phys.org (@physorg_com) June 22, 2022

In addition, organisms that consume them then integrate that nitrogen into their own bodies, and crucially, they preferentially discharge, sometimes through urine, more of the lighter isotope of nitrogen called N-14, compared to its heavier cousin, N-15. This means that N-15 accumulates, relative to N-14, as one climbs up the food chain.

Other scientists have used this method on creatures from their recent past, the most recent between 10 and 15 thousand years, although there has not been adequate nitrogen left in older animals to gauge until now.

The reason for this is that soft tissue such as skin and muscles is hardly ever preserved. To problematize matters, sharks do not have bones. Rather, their skeletons are made of cartilage.

However, sharks do have a single golden ticket into the fossil record-their teeth are more easily preserved compared to bones since they are encased in enamel, a rock-hard material that is virtually immune to the majority of decomposing bacteria.

Related information about the megalodon tooth is shown on What’s Inside’s YouTube video below:


 

TECH NEWS RELATED

25% Drop in Whale Entanglement Reported From Previous Year; Agency Warns Marine Mammals Remain a ‘Critical Threat’

(Photo : JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP via Getty Images) A youth stands on a whale shark towed by fishermen along the coast of Surabaya in eastern Java island on October 22, 2013, to be sold to prospective buyers after getting entangled in a fishing net. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ...

View more: 25% Drop in Whale Entanglement Reported From Previous Year; Agency Warns Marine Mammals Remain a ‘Critical Threat’

Smoking promotes development of severe pulmonary hypertension

(Image © iStock) Analysis of registry data leads MHH researchers to new insights into certain forms of the disease About one percent of the world’s adult population suffers from pulmonary hypertension (PH). There are many forms of this disease. One of them is idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). This ...

View more: Smoking promotes development of severe pulmonary hypertension

Ancient Giant Kangaroo Species of New Guinea Is Not Related to Australian Modern Kangaroos; Study Says

(Photo : Michael Waddle by Pexels) Millions of years ago, up until the end of the Earth’s last Ice Age, a unique giant kangaroo roamed New Guinea’s mountainous rainforests. Today, a recent study suggests that this creature was not a close relative of modern kangaroos seen in Australia. Rather, ...

View more: Ancient Giant Kangaroo Species of New Guinea Is Not Related to Australian Modern Kangaroos; Study Says

Sea Corals Found To Be a Source of an Elusive “Anti-Cancer” Compound

Researchers proved that sea corals are a source of eleutherobin, a chemical with anti-cancer properties. Researchers find that sea corals are a source of a sought-after “anti-cancer” compound The ocean floor is riddled with mysteries, but scientists have just discovered one of its best-kept secrets. For the last 25 years, ...

View more: Sea Corals Found To Be a Source of an Elusive “Anti-Cancer” Compound

Artificial intelligence techniques used to obtain antibiotic resistance patterns

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is conducting research that analyses antibiotic resistance patterns with the aim of finding trends that can help decide which treatment to apply to each type of patient and stop the spread of bacteria. This study, recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, ...

View more: Artificial intelligence techniques used to obtain antibiotic resistance patterns

New app helps Syrian refugees deal with post-traumatic stress

In order to know the actual needs of users, the content of the app was developed in close consultation with Syrian refugees. Picture: Screenshot Researchers at Leipzig University have partnered with Syrian refugees and an agency for e-mental health services to develop and scientifically test an app to help ...

View more: New app helps Syrian refugees deal with post-traumatic stress

Later diagnosis of children with Wilms tumours in the UK leads to lower survival chances

Children in the UK and Republic of Ireland who are diagnosed with Wilms tumour – the most common children’s kidney cancer – are less likely to survive without relapse than those in Germany and France due to later diagnosis, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.The study, published in ...

View more: Later diagnosis of children with Wilms tumours in the UK leads to lower survival chances

Coffee and Tea: Is It Healthy? Can It Reduce Stroke Risks?

(Photo : Pixabay from Pexels) To get a kick to start the day off, millions of people across the globe brew a cup of coffee in the morning. Some, thinking that too much coffee is bad, switch to drinking tea instead, as it turns out these drinks could actually ...

View more: Coffee and Tea: Is It Healthy? Can It Reduce Stroke Risks?

Scientists Target a Human Protein To Squash COVID-19 and Other Viruses

Boosting Brain Function As You Age Through Singing

Neurocognition Associated With Handgrip Strength; Reduced HGS Could Mean Higher Dementia Risk Among Older Adults

Monkeypox Outbreak: “This Is an Entirely New Spread of the Disease”

Birth of a Rare Horse Celebrated in British Zoo After Species Went Extinct in the Wild for Almost 4 Decades

Concerning Data Revealed: Just 20% of People in the U.S. Has Optimal Heart Health

X-Ray Inspection Reveals Over 100 Live Animals Hidden Inside the Luggage of Two Indian Women

Innovative lung-imaging technique shows cause of long-COVID symptoms

Highly Effective Memory B Cells Localized in the Lungs

Racism and discrimination harm health

Bizarre Sea Creature Looking Like A 'Demogorgon' From 'Stranger Things' Washed Up on British Shore and It Costs a Fortune!

Hormone-blocking breakthrough helps combat skin cancer recurrence

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News