Two hypotheses have been made in relation to the newly-found shark fossils: the fish might have suffered of gigantism or it may be a distant cousin of the great white shark species.
As new technological advancements are being made each day, scientists discover the first 22-foot massive shark fossil near Texas. The finding suggests that some shark species in the United States might have suffered of gigantism.
The United States of America is gradually becoming a territory of interest for all archeologists looking for prehistoric traces. The most recent finding was registered last week when scientists discovered the first 22-foot massive shark fossil near Texas.
The leaders of the research group, Janessa and Joseph A. Doucette-Frederickson were casually investigating back in 2009, the shallow sea that used to cover the territory of Texas years ago. At a certain point, they have accidentally stumbled upon a group of bones that appeared to have historic significance.
At a closer look, the bones turned out to be the fossils of a massive shark that might have lived around 100-105 million years ago in the region. Compared to the present day sharks, the fossil turned out to be gigantic, so scientists conducted additional tests to determine the reasons behind this unusual growth of the cartilaginous fish.
The research was cast aside for a several years as scientists did not seem particularly interested in the matter. This year, however, Johnson Frederickson has decided to pay more attention to the gigantic fossil after obtaining his doctorate degree from the University of Oklahoma.
The fossil was carefully compared to other shark fossils unearthed in the past. Researchers have, thus, found out that there was just one similar structure discovered in the past. The large shark vertebra was traced in Kansas, so experts believe this species of cartilaginous fish were particularly present in this region.
Archeologists are now going great lengths to identify the species of the massive sharks. Based on their research paper, shark species are usually determined with the help of the teeth. Unfortunately, scientists were unable to get their hands on one piece of teeth, so the genus of the shark remains for the moment unknown.
As one might expect, the 22-foot shark ate almost everything it could come across, from other fish exemplars to humans. Yet, there are many other environmental and living habits that scientists would like to uncover in the following period.
In spite of the numerous data that experts have collected, they were still unable to identify the factors that have led to the unusual growth of the sharks. Two possible hypotheses have been made in relation to the Texas fossil: the shark might have been a distant cousin of the famous great white shark we know today or it may have been a huge body lamniform.
The findings of the research were published in the PLOS One journal.
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