Researchers say that Megalodon sharks were apex predators ‘at the highest level ever measured’.
According to research published in Science Advances, scientists at Princeton University confirmed the extinct shark posed the biggest threat to sea creatures as it would even snack on other predators.
This prehistoric shark was a frightening animal that loomed in the oceanic waters over three million years ago and this new revelation makes them even more terrifying than we every thought possible.
PhD Graduate in geosciences and one of the study’s authors Emma Kast said the Megalodon could eat anything it wanted, according to Phys Org.
"We're used to thinking of the largest species—blue whales, whale sharks, even elephants and diplodocuses—as filter feeders or herbivores, not predators," she said.
"But Megalodon and the other megatooth sharks were genuinely enormous carnivores that ate other predators, and Meg went extinct only a few million years ago."
Wow, the Meg even makes Jaws look like an amateur.
Kast said the team of scientists were able to study the ancient shark through a new method by examining nitrogen isotopes in the species’ teeth, according to Interesting Engineering.
She explained that nitrogen isotopes indicate the nutrients animals get from their diet, and having a look at them can reveal where they sit on the food chain.
Kast said to the outlet: “High nitrogen isotope ratios, which means that the Megalodon was at this really high position on the food web.”
While observing teeth, researchers noted that the Megalodon would top great white sharks as predators if they still existed today.
She said: “If we imagine the orcas and the great whites at the top of the food web, the Megalodon would actually be above them, and above them twice: two positions higher up in the food web.
“We're predicting extraordinarily high trophic levels, and high positions in the food web, from these really high values.”
Phys Org reports that Princeton's Dusenbury Professor of Geological and Geophysical Sciences Danny Sigman said that researchers were able to study shark teeth as they preserve better than bones as they are ‘chemically and physically resistant’.
He concluded of the study: "If Megalodon existed in the modern ocean, it would thoroughly change humans' interaction with the marine environment."
Triple yikes.Featured Image Credit: Gabriele Holtermann/Sipa USA/Alamy. Alamy