What Destroyed Megalodons, One of the Most Predatory Creatures Ever?
The reason for the extinction of megalodons, which was unknown until recently, may be great white sharks.
For twenty million years, the world’s oceans have been home to fearsome sharks called ‘megalodon’. Later, this 18-metre-long super-predator vanished in an instant. While this story is pretty cool for mystery novels, horror movies, and documentaries, this isn’t actually the case.
According to researchers looking at the new fossil record, it was none other than today’s great white shark that killed these gigantic predators. Timing is very important in such findings. In the past, it was thought that the megalodon was wiped out by climate and biodiversity change triggered by a supernova 2.6 million years ago.
In megalodon fossils collected off the west coast of North America, researchers noticed that some specimens had been misidentified or dated incorrectly. After extensive research, it was realized that the extinction of this shark took place 1 million years earlier than previously thought.
This new timeline also needed a new explanation, and College of Charleston paleontologist Robert Boessenecker and his team discovered a very satisfying explanation. Great white sharks first appeared 6 million years ago and were originally only found in the Pacific. But two million years later, these predators managed to spread all over the world.
Researchers think that these sharks, which roamed the oceans from the oceans, invaded the territory of the megalodons and outclassed the megalodons for food. However, as the rivalry started to increase, the ‘fight’ between them turned into a struggle for survival. According to Bossenecker, the extinction of megalodons was not caused by a supernova in outer space, but by great white sharks.
While this new hypothesis explains some things, an expert on ancient sharks isn’t convinced. According to him, it is highly unlikely that just one species will completely wipe out the megalodons. He says researchers should also look at other possible ‘criminals’ such as tiger sharks.