A brand new research means that Megalodon, the biggest marine predator to ever dwell, could have gone extinct as a result of large shark’s physique temperature. As the oceans cooled, the sharks could have been pressured to decrease latitudes the place ocean temperatures had been hotter, whereas its prey developed to face up to cooler temperatures of upper latitudes.
Megalodon, the apex predator of the seas, was the biggest shark to ever dwell, at almost 60 ft in size. A lately revealed research suggests the huge shark reached its epic measurement due to oophagy: a type of intrauterine cannibalism conduct.
The analysis, revealed within the scientific journal Historical Biology, means that these huge sharks had been born greater than 6 ft in size, due to consuming undeveloped siblings whereas nonetheless creating throughout being pregnant.
“The gigantism of O. megalodon is attributed to the evolution of regional endothermy, possibly along with the inferred live-bearing reproductive mode involving intrauterine cannibalism in the form of oophagy,” researchers wrote within the research. “Yet, exactly how O. megalodon developed throughout its lifetime has remained largely in the realm of speculations.”
In-utero cannibalism is just not unusual amongst sharks. In November 2019, a species of shark found in Kansas additionally portrayed in-utero “cannibalistic behavior.”
In September, a separate group of researchers determined the true measurement of the megalodon’s physique, together with its large fins, primarily based on fossils. A 52.5-foot-long megalodon doubtless had a head 15.3 ft lengthy, a dorsal fin roughly 5.3 ft tall and a tail round 12.6 ft excessive, the scientists discovered.
The scientists, led by Kenshu Shimada, used quite a few strategies to give you their findings, together with CT scans with a number of X-rays to reconstruct fossils and get an thought of how massive a megalodon was at start.
Shimada and the opposite specialists additionally decided that the huge shark grew 6.3 inches per yr for the primary 50 years of its life. Megalodons had a life expectancy of round 88 years and will have reached 100 years outdated, the specialists urged.
“As one of the largest carnivores that ever existed on Earth, the evolution and extinction of O. megalodon must have contributed to shaping the present-day marine ecosystem,” the researchers added. “Hence, deciphering such growth parameters of O. megalodon is critical to understand the role large carnivores play in the context of ecology and evolution.”
The megalodon could have grow to be extinct due to being outmaneuvered and outdone by its smaller, extra agile cousin, the nice white.
Other theories counsel the megalodon was killed off by an exploding star roughly 2.6 million years in the past.
Another idea that has gotten lots of consideration in current reminiscence is that the megalodon merely was unable to control its physique temperature. Cooler ocean temperatures throughout the Pliocene period led its most popular meals, whales, to adapt, whereas the megalodon was unable to,
During the Pleistocene extinction occasion, many animals bigger than 80 kilos went extinct, based on the Illinois State Museum. At roughly 50 ft in size and a weight approaching 120,000 kilos, megalodons would have been a main candidate to be affected by the cosmic blast.
Fox News‘ James Rogers contributed to this story.