62-tonne predator more powerful than Megalodon with huge teeth once roamed Earth

An enormous predator more powerful than the infamous megalodon once roamed the Earth, according to scientists.

The livyatan, a hunting whale, is thought to have lived around 13 million years ago in a similar region to the legendary extinct shark and weighed some 62.8 tonnes.

Boffins even reckon it measured between 44 and 57ft in length – almost as long as a bowling lane.

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The creature also had powerful teeth up to a foot long that could tear through the flesh of almost any animal – and some animal enthusiasts reckon it could even have taken the legendary megalodon in a fight.

Megalodons are an extinct species of mackerel shark, which died out about 3.6 million years ago.

While the ocean-dwelling beasts are thought to have measured slightly more than livyatans, coming in at up to 65ft, the whale's strong bite and other advantages would have given it an edge over the famous shark.

Livyatans could zoom through the water at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour – but the comparatively slow megalodon could only reach speeds of 11 miles per hour.

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And while livyatans could rip out huge amounts of flesh from their prey in one fell swoop, the megalodon's teeth were about half the size, meaning it had a less formidable bite.

"Another problem for the megalodon stems from the way that megalodons attack," A-Z-animals.com explained on its blog.

"They prefer to dig into the stomachs of their prey. In this case, they’re going to get blood and blubber on their first few bites, and that’s not going to help it kill a massive whale."

It is unclear what the true outcome of a fight between a livyatan and a megalodon would be, with numerous factors such as environment coming into play.

But it's still impressive to think a creature once roamed our planet capable of destroying one of history's most famous predators.

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