The Megalodon has been a giant ancient shark species which lived approximately 23 to 2.6 million years ago, from the Early Miocene until the end of the Pliocene era. At least that’s the officially-accepted theory on the timeframe in which the Megalodon lived. However, a recent study revealed that Megalodon died out by about 1 million years before previously estimated.
Also, the new study revealed that the previous hypothesis that the Megalodon went extinct due to cosmic radiations that caused cancers in this giant sea animals is wrong. In reality, it seems that the Megalodon died out because of the appearance of a modern, more agile shark species – the modern great white shark.
First, the scientists reexamined the fossils of Megalodon and found out that the giant ancient shark died out way before prehistoric seals, walruses, sea cows, porpoises, dolphins, and whales went extinct between 1 million and 2.5 million years ago.
The Scientists Found Out Why The Megalodon, The Famous Giant Ancient Shark, Died Out
“We used the same worldwide dataset as earlier researchers but thoroughly vetted every fossil occurrence, and found that most of the dates had several problems – fossils with dates too young or imprecise, fossils that have been misidentified, or old dates that have since been refined by improvements in geology – and we now know the specimens are much younger,” said Dr. Robert Boessenecker from the College of Charleston, in South Carolina.
“After making extensive adjustments to this worldwide sample and statistically re-analyzing the data, we found that the extinction of the Megalodon must have happened at least one million years earlier than previously determined,” the researcher added. He then explained why the Megalodon, the most famous giant ancient shark, died out, according to him and his co-workers in the new study.
“We propose that this short overlap (3.6 – 4 million years ago) was sufficient time for great white sharks to spread worldwide and outcompete the Megalodon throughout its range, driving it to extinction-rather than [their death being due to] radiation from outer space. The extinction of the Megalodon was previously thought to be related to this marine mass extinction, but in reality, we now know the two are not immediately related,” Dr. Boessenecker added.
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