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Cause of Megalodons’ extinction revealed

Scientists from Zurich University have proposed the largest shark that ever lived became extinct due to a lack of prey and increased competition from predators.

Carcharocles megalodon lived between 2.6m and 28m years ago and could grow to up to 18 metres in length. It weighed up to 100 tonnes and fed on small whales. The scientists’ new theory moves away from the previous reasoning behind their extinction – climate change.

Dr Catalina Pimiento, lead author from Zurich University said: “We were not able to ascertain any direct link between the extinction of C. megalodon and the global fluctuations in temperatures during this time. Changing climatic conditions do not appear to have had any influence on the population density and range of the giant sharks.”

Approximately 200 megalodon records from museums and databases were analysed by the researchers. They found up to 16 million years ago, the giant predators were found mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, near Europe, America and the Indian Ocean but then travelled further into the South American, Asian and Australian coasts over time. C. megalodon’s population numbers peaked during the middle of the Miocene epoch with the species becoming extinct in the Pliocene.

Number of C. megalodon did not decline during colder periods of their lifetime and vice versa. However, when the amount of territory the giant shark occupied shrunk, a large number of smaller marine mammal species disappeared, said researchers. In addition to this, new predators emerged, such as the ancestors of the killer whale and great white shark, meaning increased competition for the remaining food sources.

 The research was published in the Journal of Biogeography.

16 comments

  1. Can dunkleosteus be the reason of megalodon extinction?

  2. My mum says megladons don’t exist but I think she lying

  3. they finally found the extintion of the world’s largest but it is such
    A huge fish why
    rip megalodon

  4. Why such a biiig predator was only feeding on small whales?. Was it because it was very slow in the water, or for what reason?. Did it just evolve into another species?

  5. Must have had SOMETHING to do with the emergence of man/manlike life forms???????

    • While wooly mammoths did die off in part do to hunting the megalodon lived long before the emergence of the first human beings and when it went extinct what we would consider the “ancestors” of humans would have still not even have been what we think of as the first cavemen at that point. And not to mention that it would be impossible for cavemen to hunt this predator because there were likely no boats and if there was fishing as a part of their agriculture they likely would’ve have done it all by shore, which they most likely did because I’m sure they had specific fish as part of their diet, not to mention trying to hunt it would be suicide.

  6. Couldn’t the megalodon then eat the other predators?

    • that IS true… You would’ve thought it could…

    • Yes, but when the predators emerged, the Megalodon was kissing food sources and the predators wouldn’t sustain its diet.

    • what if they were bigger than the megaladon? we are talking about dinasours here.

      • the megalodons were bigger than most dinosaur s

      • Megalodon didn’t die out until 10,000 plus years after dinosaurs completely disappeared and well before humans had a significant impact.
        Probably the little guys with the machine guns.
        Seriously saw a school bus sized shark diving at 100 feet deep off the wall at “Tongue of the Ocean (Andros Bahamas trench cliff) nearly 60 years ago.
        Was it Megalodon (Nessie)? probably not but it was bigger than anything that is currently supposed to be cruising around.
        And it was not a Whale shark, fins and body were exactly like other sharks – maybe the biggest Great White ever.

        • Steve O Cheeve O

          Oh Gary, your dementia’s playing up again,

        • I’m jealous of that experience. Sixty years ago it is possible that you saw a last family member. Humans have devastated the ocean s. I am sad that when my kids, probably won’t have an option to see the majority of wildlife. I’pray for science and man to stop destroying what is left.

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