The largest prehistoric basking sharks kept cool

Megalodon: A huge prehistoric shark, it was the happiest – or at least the largest – in the cool, gentle water.

This huge animal lived from 15 to 3.6 million years ago in different parts of the world and – unsurprisingly – has played a leading role in books and movies with its impressive appearance. Despite the fact that no more than some fossils of teeth and vertebrae have been found, people generally agree about its enormous size – from about 15 to 20 meters.

In a new study, scientists have discovered a link between habitat and estimated body size. The largest specimens lived in colder regions, where megalodon, like many other animal species, follows Bergmann’s rule: large animals do well in cold regions, because they can retain heat more efficiently.

The new theory is based on the location and size of the teeth that were found. It was already known that there were small animals in the same area, and only then was it thought that it was a kind of nursery where many small animals are provided.

The researchers say the new theory could also help better predict how similar species will respond to rising ocean temperatures.

Read more: The latest study showed that cold water created a super-sized megalodon

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