An ancient sperm whale was attacked by the Megalodon when they existed millions of years ago. Scientists found fossils and have theorized these predators would have faced each other.
The basis of their guess is that of the giant shark's tooth; while alive, it either attacked the Livyatan Melvillealive or already. This huge whale had long teeth, just the Megalodon that gives an idea of a clash.
A case in point is the tooth of the now-extinct ancient sperm whale, which is 4. 5 inches long bears shark tooth marks on it. Two of the marks were as long as 11.5 millimeters and 23.5 millimeters.
Giant sharks versus toothed whales
The whale's length is estimated at 4 meters long, said the study. The likely aggressor is an Otodus chubutensis or its descendant, Otodus megalodon, noted the researchers reported the Daily Mail.
The researchers gave no definite shark size, but Stephen Godfrey of Calvert Marine Museum remarked it would have been as big as the toothed whale.
Godfrey added that Great Whites do not attack animals bigger than themselves. If the Megalodon were the same as the whale, then it would be 15-feet long. Moreover, to strike a great whale, it would take a 20 to a 60-foot monster.
Last June, the research said that Megalodons would grow up to 65 feet in length, not the 50-foot monsters that they were thought. The Megalodon fought an ancient sperm whale, which would be almost the same size. If a modern sperm whale would-be that big, is 52 feet long and heavy as 90,000 pounds, noted Oceana Org.
The mega-tooth was discovered by co-author Norman Riker, who found the tooth in Nutrien Aurora Phosphate mine, North Carolina, Aurora. Live Science mentioned that the mine was open to fossil collectors in the 70s and 80s.
After mineworkers were finished, the rock layers were broken up, with rocks in buckets so the rock hounds could go over them.
Livyatan-Megalodon harsh encounter
Such an attack by the Megalodon could be estimated to occur about 14 million years ago or 5 million years back.
Researchers are still unclear if the Livyatan was dead or alive when it clashed with the giant shark. But evidence shows it was still alive because of the bite force analysis.
All indicators noted that ancient toothed whale was alive when it got attacked. There is no reason for the Megalodon to exert such pressure on its victim's face if it were already dead.
He added that bite would not yield much meat; it would have been the only way to kill the whale is to bite its head. Sharks like to deliver a series of bites to weaken and make their victim bleed to death.
It would be either a chubutensis or Megalodon, making the marks on the tooth compared to other species alive then. They did not consider the Carcharodon carcharias, which has large teeth with larger serrations, to have attacked the whale. They could have made a different mark on the tooth of the ancient sperm whale.
The bites on the fossil sample do not coincide with the serrations found, and marks would have been done in dual edges when an ancient Sperm whale fought the Megalodon. But reconstructed evidence shows that more than one shark might have been involved in the brawl that happened million years ago.
Originally published in journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.