Thursday, 7 November 2013

Extinct 'Megamouth' Shark Species Finally Identified

LOS ANGELES — Scientists have finally identified a new species of megamouth shark that prowled the oceans about 23 million years ago, nearly 50 years after the first teeth were discovered and then forgotten.

The ancient shark likely prowled both deep and shallow waters for plankton and fish, using its massive mouth to filter food.

"It was a species that was known to be a new species for a long time," said study co-author Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago. "But no one had taken a serious look at it," said Shimada, who described the new species here at the 73rd annual meeting of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology.

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