Hello biologists,

A somewhat hyperbolic querie but I was wondering about that. According to the lecture of this paleontologist CV, Carcharocles megalodon seems considered as such.

Hi,

well this is one of those areas where it's obviously hard to say. This is very much a credible candidate - it's a really, really big predatory shark. However, we don't have that much of it (little more than teeth and some vertebrae) so getting an exact size is hard (and certainly some of the numbers associated with it are pure exaggeration) but also how exactly do you define 'macrophagous'? Generally that's something that eats large things, and so rules out filter feeders like the blue whale, but I'd still suspect that the sperm whales around now (and indeed in the fossil record) would be bigger (heavier) than the bigger C. megalodon, and are very much macrophagous.

So not much in it, and these animals were certainly impressive and large predators, but working out exactly what was the largest when is not really very relevant to biology or palaeontology, even if it can be fun.