the ancient Otodus megalodon, the largest shark to ever swim in our planet’s oceans, disappear? While recent movies and mockumentaries have toyed with the idea that “the Meg” is still alive, it is unquestionably extinct according to marine biologists. Theories have been proposed ranging from lack of prey to mass extinction events. Extinct or not (as some conspiracists believe), the nearly 60-foot-long creature captures everyone’s attention. Especially that of Robert Boessenecker, a paleontologist at the College of Charleston in South Carolina who found an Otodus megalodon tooth in California and began searching for more evidence of this animal in the West Coast. Boessenecker and colleagues then expanded their hunt even further, broadening the horizons to learn about how such a giant shark could pull off what may be one of the best disappearing acts of the planet.

The tooth of ancient shark Megalodon on white, isolated.Getty

But megalodon is an ancient magician that has cast many researchers under its spell, including Catalina Pimiento of the University of Florida and Christopher Clements of the University of Zurich who in 2014 published their analysis of the ancient animal’s extinction using available records. Their team of researchers determined that megalodon could have still inhabited our oceans up to around 2.6 million years ago, which is about a half million years or so before our human relatives Homo erectus began forging a path in this planet. The previous research suggested that there was a mass-extinction event around this time caused by radiation from a nearby supernova that led not only to the death of this predator but of many other animals such as ancient seals, walruses, dolphins, and whales. “The extinction of O. megalodon was previously thought to be related to this marine mass extinction-but in reality, we now know the two are not immediately related,” explained Boessenecker.

What started out in a sandy beach in California for Boessenecker and a curiosity has led to an answer that took the internet by storm: megalodon vanished some 3.6 million years ago, which is a million years earlier than any other previous estimates. Published in the journal PeerJ, this timeline means as the megalodon fell… the animal we know today as the modern great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) rose. Could this be the culprit to what ultimately shook up our ancient marine ecosystems and spelled doom out for megalodon? Boessenecker and the team believes so.

Cage diving with the biggest shark in the world, Guadalupe Island,Mexico.Getty

“We propose that this short overlap (3.6-4 million years ago) was sufficient time for great white sharks to spread worldwide and outcompete O. megalodon throughout its range, driving it to extinction—rather than radiation from outer space,” said Boessenecker in a statement. “This is much more believable and robustly supported by the data,” agreed Tom Deméré, giving a comment to National Geographic. Deméré is a curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum and who was a reviewer of Pimiento and Clement’s 2014 study.

But that isn’t the only culprit in this extinction. Although the publication argues that adult great whites “would have been in the same size range and likely would have competed with juvenile Otodus megalodon,” it also points the finger at dwindling prey items (the small whales that megalodons ate) and what scientists know as range fragmentation, which is when populations of a species get split up into separate areas. The researchers claim the fossil record has been misinterpreted in previous studies, with Boessenecker commenting: “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.”

Megalodon from prehistoric times scene 3D illustrationGetty

As the megalodon population became fragmented, the large predators had to fight for dwindling food not only against one another but the newly emerged and much smaller great white shark. Although smaller, great whites are just as fierce as any other shark and their reduced size and possible increased agility may have given them the upper hand. Both animals ate similar prey, meaning the megalodon stood no chance against the newest competitor. Carcharodon carcharias evolved around four million years ago, with some scientists estimating they ventured out of the Pacific Ocean around two million years ago. Leaving the confines of the Pacific was a step towards total world domination as they spread around the world over hundreds of thousands of years. Today, the great white shark remains a cosmopolitan shark and frequently makes the news for kills. Guess this may be another one it can add to the list.

Who thinks the next “Baby Shark” hit should be “Extinct Shark”? Megalodon may not be a fan, though.

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It’s a puzzle piece that has avoided shark researchers for many years: simply why precisely did the ancient Otodus megalodon , the biggest shark to ever swim in our world’s oceans, vanish? While current motion pictures and mockumentaries have actually dabbled the concept that” the Meg” is still alive, it is absolutely extinct according to marine biologists. Theories have actually been proposed varying from absence of victim to mass termination occasions. Extinct or not( as some conspiracists think), the almost(*********************************************************** )- foot-long animal catches everybody’s attention. Specifically that of Robert Boessenecker, a paleontologist at the College of Charleston in South Carolina who discovered an Otodus megalodon tooth in California and started looking for more proof of this animal in the West Coast. Boessenecker and coworkers then broadened their hunt even further, widening the horizons to discover how such a huge shark might manage what might be among the very best vanishing acts of the world.

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What began in a sandy beach in California for Boessenecker and an interest has actually caused a response that took the web by storm: megalodon disappeared some 3.6 million years earlier, which is a million years previously than any other previous quotes. Released in the journal PeerJ(**** ), this timeline suggests as the megalodon fell … the animal we understand today as the contemporary(************************ )fantastic white shark((****** )Carcharodon carcharias ) increased. Could this be the perpetrator to what eventually shocked our ancient marine environments and spelled doom out for megalodon? Boessenecker and the group thinks so.

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Cage diving with the most significant shark

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(*************** )Megalodon from ancient times scene 3D illustration Getty

As the megalodon population ended up being fragmented, the big predators needed to defend diminishing food not just versus one another however the freshly emerged and much smaller sized fantastic white shark.

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, fantastic whites are

simply as intense as any other shark and their lowered size and possible increased dexterity might have provided the edge. Both animals consumed comparable victim, implying the megalodon stood no opportunity versus the latest rival. Carcharodon carcharias (**** )developed around 4 million years earlier, with some researchers approximating they ventured out of the Pacific Ocean around 2 million years earlier. Leaving the boundaries of the Pacific was an action towards overall world supremacy as they spread out around the world over numerous countless years. Today, the fantastic white shark stays a cosmopolitan shark and often makes the news for eliminates. Think this might be another one it can contribute to the list. (******* )(* )Who believes the next” Child Shark “hit should be “Extinct Shark”? Megalodon might not be a fan, however.

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It’s a puzzle piece that has avoided shark researchers for many years: simply why precisely did the ancient Otodus megalodon (**** ), the biggest shark to ever swim in our world’s oceans, vanish? While current motion pictures and mockumentaries have actually dabbled the concept that” the Meg” is still alive, it is absolutely extinct according to marine biologists. Theories have actually been proposed varying from absence of victim to mass termination occasions. Extinct or not (as some conspiracists think), the almost60 – foot-long animal catches everybody’s attention.

Specifically that of Robert Boessenecker, a paleontologist at the College of Charleston in South Carolina who discovered an Otodus megalodon(**** )tooth in California and started looking for more proof of this animal in the West Coast. Boessenecker and coworkers then broadened their hunt even further, widening the horizons to discover how such a huge shark might manage what might be among the very best vanishing acts of the world.(******* ).(******** ).

The tooth of ancient shark Megalodon on white, separated. Getty

.

.

However megalodon is an ancient magician that has actually cast lots of scientists under its spell, consisting of Catalina Pimiento of the University of Florida and Christopher Clements of the University of Zurich who in 2014 released their analysis of the ancient animal’s termination utilizing offered records. Their group of scientists figured out that megalodon might have still populated our oceans as much as around 2.6 million years earlier, which has to do with a half million years approximately prior to our human loved ones Homo erectus started creating a course in this world. The previous research study recommended that there was a mass-extinction occasion around this time brought on by radiation from a close-by supernova that led not just to the death of this predator however of lots of other animals such as ancient seals, walruses, dolphins, and whales. “The termination of O. megalodon was formerly believed to be connected to this marine mass extinction-but in truth, we now understand the 2 are not instantly associated,” described Boessenecker.

What began in a sandy beach in California for Boessenecker and an interest has actually caused a response that took the web by storm: megalodon disappeared some 3.6 million years earlier , which is a million years previously than any other previous quotes. Released in the journal PeerJ , this timeline suggests as the megalodon fell … the animal we understand today as the contemporary fantastic white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) increased. Could this be the perpetrator to what eventually shocked our ancient marine environments and spelled doom out for megalodon? Boessenecker and the group thinks so.

.

.

Cage diving with the most significant shark on the planet, Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Getty

.

.

“We propose that this brief overlap (3.6-4 million years ago) sufficed time for fantastic white sharks to spread out worldwide and outcompete O. megalodon throughout its variety, driving it to termination– instead of radiation from deep space,” stated Boessenecker in a declaration “This is far more credible and robustly supported by the information,” concurred Tom Deméré , providing a remark to National Geographic Deméré is a manager of paleontology at the San Diego Nature Museum and who was a customer of Pimiento and Clement’s 2014 research study.

However that isn’t the only perpetrator in this termination. Although the publication argues that adult fantastic whites “would have remained in the very same size variety and most likely would have taken on juvenile Otodus megalodon ,” it likewise blames diminishing victim products (the little whales that megalodons consumed) and what researchers referred to as variety fragmentation, which is when populations of a types get broken up into different locations. The scientists declare the fossil record has actually been misinterpreted in previous research studies, with Boessenecker commenting : “We utilized the very same around the world dataset as earlier scientists however completely vetted every fossil incident, and discovered that the majority of the dates had numerous issues– fossils with dates too young or inaccurate, fossils that have actually been misidentified, or old dates that have actually considering that been improved by enhancements in geology.”

.

.

Megalodon from ancient times scene 3D illustration Getty

.

.

As the megalodon population ended up being fragmented, the big predators needed to defend diminishing food not just versus one another however the freshly emerged and much smaller sized fantastic white shark. Although smaller sized, fantastic whites are simply as intense as any other shark and their lowered size and possible increased dexterity might have provided the edge. Both animals consumed comparable victim, implying the megalodon stood no opportunity versus the latest rival. Carcharodon carcharias developed around 4 million years earlier, with some researchers approximating they ventured out of the Pacific Ocean around 2 million years earlier. Leaving the boundaries of the Pacific was an action towards overall world supremacy as they spread out around the world over numerous countless years. Today, the fantastic white shark stays a cosmopolitan shark and often makes the news for eliminates. Think this might be another one it can contribute to the list.

Who believes the next “Child Shark” hit should be “Extinct Shark”? Megalodon might not be a fan, however.

.