Texas is the lone star state: home of rodeo, cattle ranches and bad-mouthing the gov’nment. I have to admit, though I was aware of Texas’ general shape, I had never considered whether it has a coastline. It does, of course. And it’s almost 600 kilometres long. What’s more, a recent discovery had led scientist to believe that a giant “supershark” once swam off this coast.
The shark is known as a Megladon (not “Megladong” – that’s something else altogether) and it’s been dead for a very long time. The creature would have lived around 300 million years ago – so the lay of the land would have been slightly different and today’s maps would’ve been useless. The creature became extinct around 2.6 million years ago but it could grow up to 60 feet (18 meters). This specific discovery is of a fossilised Megladon which was around 26 feet (eight metres) long.
The colossal fish lived 359 to 299 million years ago during the Carboniferous period – long before dinosaurs ever existed. It is thought to have swam in a shallow sea called the Wester Interior Seaway. This vast area of ocean would’ve covered much of the American West and played host to clams, corals, mollusks and bony fish.
While this discovery isn’t record-breaking, it is still 25% larger than the great white shark and the discovery is big news in the scientific community. The announcement was made at the Society for Vertebrate Palaeontology. Palaeontologist John Maisey stated “You don’t see sharks this size again until the Cretaceous [the last geological time period of the dinosaurs].”
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of sharks. Anything with that many teeth shouldn’t be trusted. But if my conjecture is anything to go by, the discovery of this ancient Megladon means that sharks are getting smaller. Nonetheless, I guess this proves the old saying. Everything’s bigger in Texas.