The Meg, Hollywood's recent shark tale, is opening wide this week in anticipation the summer audience in the mood for a scare.

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Proposing the the extinction Megalodon, a large prehistoric family member of the an excellent white shark, has actually survived come the present day, the film complies with its subsequent encounter with humanity.


Shark researcher and Megalodon experienced Catalina Pimiento indigenous Swansea university wants to break down a couple of myths.


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Image source, Courtesy that Warner Bros.

Researchers have actually pinned the date of Megalodon's extinct at around 2.6 million years ago - about when its cousin the good white shark was just becoming established.


In The Meg, Megalodon has survived the periods in a formerly unknown (to humans) area the deep ocean off the coast of China.


However, Dr Pimiento points the end that Megalodon likely lived in water no an ext than 200 metres deep, in and around seaside areas.


We would, she says, have actually noticed miscellaneous of Megalodon's size if it was swimming off our shores.


Much the what we know about the varieties comes from its teeth, which are few of the just remains that have been preserved.


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Estimates the its full body length variety from at least 13 metres approximately a best of 18 metres, or nearly the size of two double decker buses.


While this dwarfs great white sharks, it's not fairly the submarine-crunching 25 metres featured in The Meg.


Melagodon's impressive size is fascinating to researchers, together an animal that huge would have had actually to work an extremely hard to discover enough food.


"If you think around that ~ above land for example, all the largest pets are herbivores... If you're that large then you need to eat a most prey and also you must hunt a lot of to uncover that much food," defines Dr Pimiento.


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Image source, Getty Images

Although it's very daunting to recognize much around how Megalodon would have actually moved and also behaved, Dr Pimiento has actually her suspicions about what kind of hunter that would have been. She hopes to develop a 3D version of the shark in bespeak to study this in much more detail.


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"If I had actually to guess, ns wouldn't think it to be an agile predator. It might even have been an ext of a scavenger. Sharks space opportunistic, and they will eat anything castle can. If they deserve to hunt, they will certainly hunt. If they view a carcass, they will eat the carcass."


There's no evidence that Megalodon's exceptional size to be the reason of its extinction, but food was nearly certainly a factor.


Rapidly an altering sea levels about 2.6 million year ago influenced the seaside ecosystem the the gigantic shark inhabited.


Over the course of a few million years, around 36% that sharks, sea turtles, sea birds and also marine mammals became extinct.


Megalodon was the last of its lineage of giant sharks, and it was flourished by smaller, an ext agile hunters choose the great white.

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Although The Meg's creators put a an excellent deal of research right into reviving Megalodon, before adding some imaginative licence, vault shark attack films have actually been believed to influence their actual life counterparts.


"We shouldn't take it them lightly. Jaws had a vast impact top top the security of sharks, and also a duty in offering them a poor reputation. Human being don't realise how fragile they are."


It to be speculated that shark populations off the US coastline were impacted after Steven Spielberg's 1975 blockbuster, with fishers setting out to capture "trophy sharks."


Nowadays, sharks space threatened by person encroachment ~ above their searching grounds, contending for the exact same prey.