Something Big

shark8matt at aol.comenbilulu shark8matt at aol.comenbilulu
Tue Jan 18 04:39:42 EST 2000



     I sent a post to this newsgroup the last time a debate about the
megladon
surfaced.  I still hold by the fact that it would be almost an impossibility
that the megalodon is still alive.  Simply looking at the energetics
involved
in the case shows how miniscule the chances atre that it can be alive.  A
shark
roughly 40 ft long and, (assumedly if related to the great white or mako
sharks) warm blooded would require a substantial metabolic rate.  Other
organisms of this size that live today filter plankton out of the water
column
(w/ the exception of the sperm whale).  The megalodon would theoretically
eat
cetaceans because of their size and the caloric value of their blubber.
These
organisms all breathe air and therefore need to remain somewhat near the
surface.  Despit the immese size of the ocean I find it exceeding difficult
to
accept that if megalodon exists we have simply never observed it feeding or
have found any other evidence such as washed up carcasses on beaches or the
like.  It is obvious that a shark of this size would do very poorly at great
depths because there is simply not enough food to fuel an animal of that
size. 
Vertical migration is also not considerably likely, as the energy spent
moving
up and down the water column would be wasted for no purpose - as it would
not
need to escape predation.  I would like nothing more that to perpetuate the
fantasy of giant sea monsters roaming the deep but it is just not a
biologically feasible possibility.

                                             - Matt Potenski
                                               Marine Science
                                               Rutgers University
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