Scientists discover megashark fossils off Canary coast
Thursday, September 5, 2013, 9:58 -
The Spanish Oceanography Institute (IEO) has discovered fossil evidence of the largest marine predator that ever existed, the megalodon.
This "megashark," which became extinct two million years ago, measured between 14 and 20 metres in length and weighed about 100 tonnes, experts say.
In October 2012, about 2,000 metres below the surface of the ocean, fossil deposits were found during an ocean research campaign off the Canary Islands coast.
The scientist's findings weren't released until now as they wanted to ensure the fossils didn't belong to other extinct shark, whale or sea cow species.
The discovery however, helps to prove the presence of this super-predator and other shark species and is an event of great scientific significance, the IEO said in a statement.
Experts say the fossils also provide valuable information on the ecosystem and climate types existing during that era.
This announcement comes shortly after a new species of 'walking' shark was discovered in Indonesia.
It's a slender, spotted shark that prefers to 'walk' along the ocean floor, rather than swim.
The find was made by a team led by Dr. Gerald Allen of the Western Australian Museum.
Dr. Allen says the species has a unique colour pattern, which includes large, dark spots. It's a relatively small fish, reaching a top size of about 70 cm.