There have been many controversies regarding the shark’s oldest relative, the Megalodon. A new study which has been published in the Plos One journal reveals incredible new information that could shed a light on the speculations and theories regarding the giant prehistoric marine animal. The Megalodon shark, or as the scientists call it, the largest shark to ever swim in our Planet’s waters became extinct approximately 2.6 million years ago.
The new study destroys previous claims that the 60-foot-long Megalodon shark has not disappeared completely. The Megalodon, known as Carcharocles megalodon was bigger than the biggest flying dinosaurs and fed on giant whales that swam in the prehistoric oceans.
Many scientists still wonder what could have made the Megalodon shark to go extinct. There are Megalodon fossils discovered all over the world, including Europe, North America, South America and Africa. Most of these fossils measure 50 feet in length and the maximum length being of 60 feet. Scientists say that no marina animal would dare to cross the Megalodon shark’s way, as it is considered to have been the most feared marine animal to have ever lived on Earth.
The author of the new study that revealed the Megalodon shark disappeared 2.6 million years ago is Chris Clements, a research assistant from the University of Zurich. He said that they used a technique called the OLE, or the Optimal Linear Estimation to estimate when the Megalodon went extinct. Although the OLE technique does not provide a 100% accurate date of the shark’s extinction, it provides a “date by which” an animal went extinct.
The scientists used 42 of the Megalodon’s recently discovered fossils in order to estimate the date of the extinction. The fossils were run through approximately 10,000 simulations and the tests showed that the Megalodon went extinct somewhere between the Pilocene and the Pleistocene era. This is around the time the baleen whales started to develop its modern sizes.
Most of the Megalodon shark fossils date back to the middle of the Miocene epoch, which was 15.9 – 11.6 million years ago, and the Pilocene, 5.3 – 2.6 million years ago.