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Largest ancient fish downsized in evolution

Of all the fish to ever swim in the seas, the Jurassic plankton-feeder Leedsichthys problematicus may be the record-holder for the world's largest.

However, working with bits and pieces of incomplete skeletons, scientists have had a hard time figuring out the precise dimensions of the enormous creature. New evidence now suggests that Leedsichthys, which swam the seas 165 million years ago, may have been smaller than previously believed — roughly half as big as earlier estimates.

Even so, it was probably a little bigger than today's plankton-feeding whale sharks, and its standing as the biggest bony fish ever is still intact, according to a report by National Geographic.

The new evidence about the enormous fish is part of a study presented by University of Bristol paleontologist Jeff Liston week at the 61st annual Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Click here for the full report.