You may never have seen the species of shark known as the Megalodon dwelling in the world’s oceans, yet you know the name because it is famous for being the world’s largest shark species to ever exist. Researchers believed that Megalodon was of the size of around 80 feet which is four times more than the size of the apex predator of the ocean, the great white shark. Well, you may want to have a glimpse of such a giant animal, but is the Megalodon still alive? Or did the Megalodon even exist decades ago? We are here to find out.
Does the Megalodon shark still exist?
Ruled the ocean world for hundreds of years, Megalodon is not alive today. Roughly 20 million years ago, Megalodon fossils were found. All continents except Antarctica have fossils of Megalodon originating from the warm oceans of the Miocene and Pliocene periods. A mere 3.6 million years ago, the enormous shark became extinct after governing the oceans for 13 million years. A Megalodon was one of the largest fish ever to inhabit the planet, not just the biggest shark.
Obviously, if an animal that big as Megalodon lived in the oceans now, we’d know about it, so we can be sure that the Megalodon is extinct. But why is it so? Here’s what we found.
Did the Megalodon shark exist?
All scientific evidence suggests that Megalodon did exist millions of years ago and went extinct sometime during the mid-late Pliocene. The planet moved in a retro of global cooling during that time.
Since the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were linked at the equator, a larger amount of warm equatorial water flowed throughout the globe during the Miocene. That was a piece of good fortune for warm-water predators like Megalodon during this period since there was abundant warm water and a proper channel between the two largest oceans on earth.
In the Pliocene, however, North and South America collided, obstructing the former Central American Seaway. Consequently, the global ocean currents changed dramatically, resulting in rapid and dramatic drops in temperatures. Because sea levels dropped globally due to frozen seawater settling at the poles, Megalodon was unable to safely give birth at coastal nurseries.
Megalodon was soon left with no food source, and so the reign of the Megalodon shark eventually came to an end. Thus, changing ocean currents, lack of primary food sources and competition with other marine predators were said to be the main reasons for the Megalodon shark extinction.
Given the fact that the underwater world still needs to be explored as it holds numerous mysteries, some people believe that Megalodon might have existed in the deep oceans. However, no scientific claims have been made so far about their existence, but we all believe that they went extinct around 3.6 million years back.
As apex predators, sharks hold significant importance in the marine world and the ecosystem they live in. When it comes to Megalodon, it would be on the top, but since they no longer exist, the gap is now being filled by the great white sharks. While some believe that Megalodon could exist in the deep oceans, there is no evidence to support such a claim.