You are watching: How did the megalodon became extinct
This article will talk about what the megalodon is and also why walk it come to be extinct. The will talk about the shark’s size, appearance, and diet. This short article will also discuss why it came to be extinct, such together the sudden lack of food due to changes in the worldwide climate in ~ the time. Us aim to provide readers an ext information on these splendid creatures as well as what us see and also hear native pop culture and movies.
To begin things off, let’s answer the first part the the title. The megalodon shark (Carcharocles megalodon) was a species of megatooth shark that belonged come the Otodontidae family. That is name means “big tooth” in Greek. That was initially thought to be in the same family members as the good white, the Lamnidae family, as result of their similarities. But recent studies show that the megalodon is the a different one. That is thought by researchers that the megalodon serves as the link in between earlier sharks and modern-day ones. That is why also today, there are conflicting theories on which household the megalodon belonging to.
Fossil records show that they existed between the early Miocene epoch (23.03 million year ago) to the finish of the Pliocene date (2.58 million year ago). The megalodon was the undisputed apex predator the the world’s oceans for virtually 13 million years prior to dying out 3 million years ago. Megalodon fossils have been uncovered both in shallow and also temperate seas, and also along continental shelves throughout the world. It is just in Antarctica wherein there are no megalodon fossils space found. This can be defined by the big seaways the separated the continents throughout the Miocene epoch (23 million to 5.3 million years ago), which permitted megalodons to travel from one place to another.
The megalodon is believed to have actually measured between 49.2 to 59.1 feet (15 come 18 meters) long and also weighed approximately between 30 come 60 metric tons. Though this numbers are impressive, one must note the these are just rough estimations based on the fossils recovered by paleontologists. This is because a lot of the discovered megalodon fossils are largely their this or vertebrae. So researchers estimate the shark’s size based upon the size of their this instead.
Why is it the a many their remaining fossils are merely teeth? Shark teeth room both the hardest parts of the shark’s skeleton and also it produces number of of them. For just two weeks of eating, a shark deserve to lose an entire collection of teeth. And throughout their lives, sharks simply kept growing more and more. This can mean the there space plenty that megalodon this lying roughly the s floor, waiting to it is in discovered.
The similarities between the form of the good white’s and the megalodon’s teeth suggest that the last must have looked comparable to the former. This method that the megalodon must have been a huge torpedo-shaped fish, through a conical snout, big pectoral and dorsal fins, and also a crescent-shaped tail, simply supersized. Later on studies have actually debunked this theory, and also propose the the megalodon belonged come a various lineage of sharks, v the megalodon gift the last member. Various other scientists additionally believe the the megalodon might have likewise resembled a basking shark, a sand tiger shark, or even a whale shark.
The megalodon’s teeth also tell us what specifically did the megalodon preyed upon. The bite diameter is a staggering 9.8 feet (3 meters) wide, suggesting that its major food resource must have actually been large fish, whales, sea turtles, sirenians like dugong or manatees, or also other sharks. This shouldn’t currently come together a surprise due to the fact that of the megalodon’s large size. Primitive whale bones likewise support this theory, together they boring bite marks and even tooth fragments belonging come megalodons. Because they room the apex predator of their time, they should have also occupied the same ecological niche together the an excellent white in the present. This also means that they didn’t have any natural predators, as they food on everything below them.
Though we don’t know just how megalodons mate, the is thought that megalodons offered birth come live young. They must have also reared them in nurseries, together one was discovered off the shore of Panama in 2010. This nursery may have permitted the younger megalodons to hunt smaller prey, while adults could far better protect castle from other predatory sharks prefer the hammerhead shark.Why walk the Megalodon Shark go Extinct?
There are several reasons, researchers believe, as to why the megalodon ended up being extinct. One reason was the extinct of a huge part of the megalodon’s diet. Together the Pliocene date ended, the world’s temperatures started to cool down, bring about either the deaths or adaptation the their food to chillier waters. Because of this, the megalodon’s numbers started to dwindle as result of the absence of food sources and also competition from smaller sharks and also killer whales. Brand-new studies have said that, ironically, it to be the figure of great whites that assisted in the megalodon’s extinction. They to be unable to complete with the smaller sized sharks for the staying fish easily accessible in the ocean, which increased their decline.
Another element that assisted in the megalodon’s decline - and later die out - was climate change. No the climate readjust that we’re acquainted with, however the progressive cooling the the planet throughout the finish of the Pliocene Epoch and also the beginning of the Pleistocene Period. Since they are warm-water fish, this expected that megalodons uncovered it harder to live in this waters. The Pleistocene Period, much more commonly known as the ice cream Age, is usually agreed as the time the megalodon became extinct, either the or throughout the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary (2.58 million years).
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That said, no aspect can be totally blamed because that the extinction of the megalodon. As detailed before, it to be a combination of alters in the ecosystem, the loss of their key diet, and the cooling of the s that caused their extinction. And if you’re quiet hoping that at least a few of them room still around, frozen somewhere deep beneath the ocean, scientists have concluded that they can’t survive without being detected. A shark their size demands a the majority of food to survive and also they can’t survive lengthy in cold, deep waters as they space warm-water fish.