Wednesday 3 April 2019

Mystery Predator a Megalodon ?

A giant shark’s head pulled from the water by a fisherman has captured the imagination of Facebook users – because it appears to have been chomped clean off by something even bigger. Jason Moyce, also known as Trapman Bermagui, posted an image of the severed head of a mako shark which he and his employee caught off the coast of New South Wales in Australia.
He wrote: “So this was all we got back of this monster mako. Unfortunately we didn’t see what ate it but must of been impressive!!”
Mako sharks, which can grow to be around 12 feet long, are known for their speed as well as their propensity for jumping out of the water.According to Mr Moyce, the head weighed around 100kg on its own.
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There have been reports before of a large predator in the waters of NS Wales.Port Stephens is in New South Wales. It  is popular with families and fishermen. In 1918, a report from Port Stephens said that a shark of “almost unbelievable proportions” was stealing crayfish pots. The fishermen claimed   the shark as up to 91 meters (300 ft) long as big as a blue whale. It was described as  whitish in colour and that the water “boiled” above it as it swam.

This report comes from Channel 9 news: A seven-metre great white shark has been spotted off Adelaide's coast by a helicopter patrol. The shark was seen 100 metres offshore at the Marino Rocks on Sunday afternoon, a Shark Alerts South Australia Facebook post says. Nearby Nippers events were cancelled and swimmers evacuated from the water "It's the biggest I've ever seen as a crew member in the Westpac chopper. We put it down as 7m the photo really doesn't do it justice," an unnamed crew member wrote. The pictures caused a stir on social media, with some swearing never to step foot in the ocean again, and others arguing the great white was unlikely to be that large and labelling the sighting a "fisherman's tale" Shark Alerts South Australia said the crew used their six-metre jet boat to estimate the great white's size.

Speculation about the shark attack has lead to talk of a megalodon, an ancient giant prehistoric shark being the predator.The earliest megalodon fossils date back to 20 million years ago. For the next 13 million years the  shark dominated the oceans until becoming extinct  3.6 million years ago.
It grew to between 15 and 18 meters in length .(The  figures are based on the size of the animal's teeth, which could reach 18 centimetres long, as no complete skeleton has been found). The jaws had approximately  276 teeth, and studies reconstructing the shark's bite force suggest that it may have been one of the most powerful predators ever to have existed.
Megalodon did not look like a huge  white shark however, it had  a much shorter nose with a flatter, almost squashed jaw. It also had extra-long pectoral fins to support its weight and size.
Megalodon lived in warm tropical and subtropical locations around the globe. It  had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene (2.6 million years ago), when the planet entered a phase of global cooling. As the  sharks were dependent on tropical waters, the drop in ocean temperatures likely resulted in a significant loss of habitat and less food sources. The waters would have been clear ,warm and shallower when Megalodon ruled the oceans. It is highly unlikely it could survive in today’s cold, dark polluted seas. It would have to evolved into something which  could tolerate great depths and cold temperatures and see in the dark waters
So the mystery predator is most likely to be another large shark  or Orca (killer Whale) unless of course there is a sea serpent or monster yet to be discovered

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