Tags: worlds | largest | fish

World's Largest Fish? 50-foot Prehistoric Beast Existed, Scientists Say

Monday, 26 Aug 2013 06:38 PM

By David Ogul

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Scientists have unearthed the remains of what’s being called the world’s largest fish: a 50-foot Leedsichthys problematicus that swam the oceans some 160 million years ago.

A team of team led by Professor Jeff Liston of the National Museums of Scotland shows that reptiles in the water were growing to enormous proportions just as animals on land were doing the same during the Jurassic period.

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“The process is known as gigantism,” Liston told The Guardian. “It was known about in land animals at the time but we had no way of knowing if a parallel process occurred in the oceans. We now know that it did – though the reason for appearance of these gigantic beasts, both on land and in the water, is not clear at present.”

Liston’s team is scheduled to detail his team’s findings at the Symposium on Vertebrated Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week, the Guardian reported.

Fossils of the fish were previously found in a quarry in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and Liston’s team was able to show the fish was actually larger than previously believed, according to the International Business Times.

The fish is believed to have feasted on plankton.

Pieces of Leedsichthys fossils were first found by British collector Alfred Leeds in 1889, according to the Guardian, and similar remains were found at other sites around the world.

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Related stories:

Alaska Fish Could be Oldest Creature Ever Caught

Great White Sharks: California’s Endangered Species Act Protects Predator

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