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Did competition for food wipe out Megalodon ?

By T.K. Randall
April 1, 2016 · Comment icon 7 comments

Megalodon would have even put the movie shark 'Jaws' to shame. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Karen Carr
The largest shark that ever lived may have been driven to extinction by competition from other predators.
Measuring up to 60ft in length, this prehistoric behemoth, which lived up until around 2.6 million years ago, made the great white shark - which is less than a third of its size - look like a minnow.

For 20 million years this gargantuan predator dominated the world's oceans, but then something happened that had such a catastrophic effect on the species that it ended up going extinct.

For years it was believed that megalodon had been wiped out by the effects of climate change, but now scientists at the University of Zurich have highlighted another possibility - that this enormous shark was simply outcompeted for food by other ocean predators.
Evidence from the fossil record has shown a direct correlation between dwindling megalodon numbers and a rise in the number of smaller shark and predatory sea mammal species.

"We were not able to ascertain any direct link between the extinction of C. megalodon and the global fluctuations in temperatures during this time," wrote researcher Catalina Pimiento.

"Changing climatic conditions do not appear to have had any influence on the population density and range of the giant sharks."

Source: | Comments (7)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by newbloodmoon 7 years ago
This wouldn't surprise me if other sea predatores had out adapted the megaladon if they hunted the same food source.
Comment icon #2 Posted by DeeSember 7 years ago
I know how Megalodon felt! When I am shopping for groceries, other shoppers will run over you with carts, push you, Had some take things from my cart when my back was turned. Checkout lines, they have 20, only two open and they seem to be waiting for something! Price checks...customer service managers...The line never Moves! There have been times I have given up, left my cart where it was at and walk out with nothing. There used to be a guy that mentioned Megalodon in post all the time. his usage of it always made me laugh. Going to see if Mishkin shows up to post here.
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
Maybe there were 60 ft. dolphins as well doing what the current size dolphins do to the current sized sharks. If the sea creatures want the sharks gone, shouldn't we help them?
Comment icon #4 Posted by bubblykiss 7 years ago
The gov't never said that the megaladon was too big to fail. I, for one, embrace an ocean free of 60ft long giant killing machines designed to spread all living things that they encounter.
Comment icon #5 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
I always assume prey scarcity drove it to evolve to become smaller.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Infernal Gnu 7 years ago
Couldn't "megalodon" also be used as a verb meaning putting on too many pieces of clothing...overdressing?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Smarty Thousers 5 years ago
Megaladon is my favorite cryptozoology subject.Sadly I donít think there are any left,If so why hasnít one washed up on shore?

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