ScienceGreat white sharks may have driven megalodon to extinction

Great white sharks may have driven megalodon to extinction

Megalodon (Otodus megalodon), one of the largest sharks to have ever lived, mysteriously vanished from the fossil record about 3.6 million years ago. Now, scientists suspect that the massive predator may have been driven to extinction by a rival marine species: great white sharks.

Prior research hypothesized that megalodon’s decline may have coincided with the rise of great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), which likely hunted the same prey as their larger cousin, Jeremy McCormack, a geoscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and lead author of a new study about these prehistoric competitors, told Live Science in an email. Supporting this explanation for megalodon’s relatively sudden disappearance were bite marks on the bones of other marine animals; these scars were made by both great whites and megalodon, suggesting that the two species may have competed for similar food resources. 

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