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Facts about the Moon! Ready for a night time adventure? Then 3, 2, 1… Liftoff! Neil Armstrong facts! The megalodon may have successfully attacked and killed a squalodon but not without being injured itself. If these animals did indeed possess an advanced echolocation system it is possible that they may have used this to orchestrate defensive procedures and attacks in order to protect themselves and wound potential predators. Unfortunately little is known about the squalodon and even less is known about other potential animals that may have been able to fight off or even seriously injure the massive apex megalodon.
Over the course of millions of years sharks have changed dramatically in terms of size and in some ways in terms of the foods they consume. Part of the reason sharks may have lost some of their size has to do with evolutionary changes that made it easier for sharks to consume smaller quantities of food which makes it easier for them to survive without having to face food shortages. Prehistoric sharks such as the megalodon needed to maintain a pretty hefty diet in order to maintain its massive body therefore it needed a diet that included large fish, whales and other large animals.
Many of the sharks that exist today however are able to thrive by consuming much smaller food and at lower quantities than their prehistoric relatives. Being smaller provides sharks with several advantages such as being able to maintain their food supply more easily, facing less competition for food which allows them to give birth to large numbers of babies without diminishing their own supply of prey and being able to adapt better to climate changes and other environmental factors.
As researchers continually use the great white as a reference point for the megalodon in regards to determining what the megalodon looked like and how it hunted there are growing arguments about whether or not these two species are closely related. Given the fact that the megalodon and great white are both apex predators and have shown some similarities in the shape and serrations in their teeth some researchers believe that there may have been some close associations between the two species.
Reconstruction of the megalodons appearance often tends to mimic some of the features of the great white shark. Not all parties agree however with the idea that the megalodon and great white are closely related. Researchers that believe the megalodon and great white are not closely related point out that upon close inspection of the teeth of the two species the serrations are differentiated between the two animals and the jaws appear to show distinct differences among the two species as well.
Looking at the historical features of old and modern day great whites some researchers believe that one of the great whites closest ancestral family members is actually the mako shark and not the megalodon. Unfortunately these debates and arguments have made it difficult to determine the relationship between the two species and our limited knowledge of the megalodon makes it hard to come to a concrete yes or no decision.
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In either case researchers often rely on the great white as a reference point to determine the appearance and behavior of the megalodon as limited information on this shark has required some interpretation and theory rather than cold hard facts. While large sharks such as the megalodon were known as the apex predators of their time things have changed. Sharks are still one of the worlds most effective hunters in the ocean, however today they are not only hunters but also the hunted. Although attacks may not occur often large predators such as the killer whale have been known to hunt sharks when they are hungry and other forms of prey are not available.
Sperm whales have also been observed with shark contents found in their stomachs which suggests that these large whales may occasionally consume sharks when other food sources are unavailable or accidentally consume sharks while also consuming other prey. For starters dolphins often travel in groups which provides them with some protection from otherwise potentially dangerous predators. Dolphins are also highly intelligent, agile, fast and possess echolocation making them hard to catch and even harder to kill.
These attacks are much different than those found in dolphins which can use echolocation to identify other dolphins in the group, strategize and collaborate in order to defend themselves or isolate prey. Numerous theories have been proposed to explain the possible extinction of this species which include:. Research of climate cooling and the lack of megalodon bones being found in colder areas suggests that the megalodon may have declined in numbers due their inability to survive in cold environments.
This evidence is further observed by the fact the megalodon appear to have been much less abundant if not absent in cold climate regions. Ocean cooling, the formation of glaciers and declining sea levels may have all played a role in the eventual elimination of the megalodon.
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During earlier prehistoric times the diversity of whale species was much higher than it is today. In fact is estimated that there were around 20 different genera of whale in existence during their prime as compared to only 6 genera living today. Because megalodon also consumed fish it is possible that they may have turned to cannibalism as their food supplies continually dwindled speeding up the extinction efforts of their species. While some of the megalodons food supplies may have become extinct over time other species may have become migratory in order to maintain their own life and stability.
As stated earlier the megalodon preferred inhibiting warm environments and may have had difficulty surviving in non subtropical waters, therefore it may have faced food shortages when their prey began to migrate away to other environments. Again this was likely caused by climate changes during the Pliocene and Pleistocene era where significant cooling and ice formations began to lower the global temperature.
A fourth theory often proposed to explain the possible extinction of the megalodon has to do with facing competition from new competitors. The cooling of the ocean and changing structure of the oceans habitat combined with food shortages, migration and competition all played a role in reducing the megalodon populations which eventually caused the species to become extinct. This part of the article will explore the claims regarding the existence of the megalodon today as well as the arguments made to try to debunk these claims.
Over the years there have been numerous myths, stories and hoaxes about recent appearances of the megalodon. Unfortunately these photographs are often old, low quality and only show a single body part such as a fin or tail, which does not provide substantial evidence of its existence. As far as videos of the megalodon are concerned the evidence appears just is limited in regards to quality, quantity and proof. Recounted stories from people in various parts of the world claiming to have witnessed a live megalodon have also been reported for decades.
In fact there are at least a handful of stated accounts and claims made over the last years of potential megalodon sharks infesting their local waters, however as with the photographs the evidence is extremely limited and based on personal opinion rather than hard science or facts. One of the most recent and debated docufictions of recent times is Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives.
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Recent findings of physical evidence regarding the existence of a recently living, breathing megalodon is extremely limited, if not non existent. From what has been observed so far minus the myths and hoaxes it seems very unlikely that the megalodon would be swimming around in our oceans today. They are all considered legends and believed by some to exist today, however no one can truly prove their existence. If you look at the most common theories for why the megalodon became extinct it becomes quite clear that these issues would still exist today and that the only way the megalodon could survive is if it went through significant evolutionary changes.
Perhaps our own imaginations, desires and interests to believe that the megalodon is secretly inhibiting our oceans is what drives us towards the possibility of its current existence, despite compelling evidence that suggests otherwise. Could the megalodon continue to live if it did not evolve and how much would it be able to evolve over a relatively short period of time in order to survive today? These are the types of questions one has to ask when trying to determine whether or not the megalodon would be able to live in our oceans.
Given the fact that 1. When you look at some of the oceans largest animals such as baleen whales and the whale shark for example you can see that these large animals are filter feeders and consume large quantities of small fish and krill as well as other forms of small prey as the primary source of their diet, not large whales or dolphins. If this were the case the megalodon would likely have left evidence of its existence from the carcasses of the food it consumed. Another factor that would have to be considered is that these large sharks would have to deal with the changing climates and varying seasons.
If this large shark relied on the warmer waters to survive than it would likely be struggling today and assuming they had a lifespan of 20 — 40 years they would have to reproduce on a fairly consistent basis in order to maintain their existence, which means there would have to be numerous megalodons inhibiting the worlds oceans today. If they do not reproduce at least once every 40 years the entire species can be eliminated in one generation. Another point that can be brought up regarding their warm habitat preference is the fact that water cools the deeper you dive which means that its quite likely these sharks would have a limited diving range in order to prevent them from getting too cold.
This suggests that the megalodon would have to remain at depths where humans would likely be able to observe and identify this species. Given its large size it would be quite difficult for the megalodon to hide its presence for over 1 million years. When you look at the amount of water that exists on our earth it quickly becomes apparent just how vast the ocean is and how much of it remains to be explored. Given these facts we can carefully assume that have just touched the iceberg of the kind of mysterious the ocean holds. In recent years there have been a few interesting findings regarding oceanic animals and sharks in particular.
Prior to this the only known fossil records of these extremely rare fish were from prehistoric bones dating back hundreds of millions of years. The fact that these fish remained unidentified since the beginning of humanity has left some to question the existence of other un-rediscovered prehistoric species such as the megalodon.
First the megalodon is a massive shark that would have likely left evidence of its existence either from the carcasses of the food it consumed or because of its large size, which would have left more recent fossil evidence from bones and teeth. Second from everything that is known about the megalodon it appears that they preferred warmer climates and did not dive extensively deep for their food, so it is likely that they or more recent fossils would have been observed by ocean researchers many years ago.
This deep water shark was discovered in off the coast of Kaneohe, Hawaii when it became trapped in a U. Since this discovery the megamouth shark has continued to remain fairly elusive with observations of the shark being extremely rare. In fact only a few live videos of the shark have ever been recorded as well as a number of infrequent sightings. When you think about it even with our most advanced technology we have been unable to reach depths that come anywhere close to the bottom of the deepest oceans, so our understanding of what lies beneath our feet barely known. In fact it is believed that species such as the squaladon were highly sophisticated and able to take on or at least wound the megalodon when one of its pod members was being attacked or threatened.
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Through the numerous megalodon facts and figures that have been recovered scientists, researchers and historians have been able to study the megalodon in great detail, however much of our understanding of this creature remains illusive and up to interpretation based on more recent shark observations. If there is one thing that we can say about the megalodon it is that this amazing shark stood out from the crowd and dominated the habitats it lived in. Its large size, sharp teeth and massive bite made it an apex predator allowing it to attack and consume some of the largest whales of its time.
While its true appearance and behavior remains a mystery researchers and scientists often look to the great white for inspiration and clues as to how this amazing animal looked, lived and hunted. When compared to modern day sharks and marine mammals there is no question that the megalodon could continue to dominate the ocean if it still existed.
Since the first correct identification of a megalodon shark tooth observed in by Nicolaus Steno researchers have been trying to piece together an accurate representation of the megalodon.
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Given the technology that we have at our disposal and the recovery of fossil fragments the extinction of the megalodon is estimated to have occurred around 1. Over this long extinction period the decay of most megalodon fossils minus its teeth and some backbone has made it difficult to pinpoint certain aspects of this large creature. Global climate changes, habitat developments and reformations, potential increases in competition, necessary food sources becoming extinct and newly formed migration patterns for existing food supplies are all highly plausible factors that may have contributed to the extinction of the megalodon species.
Appearance and Behavior The beginning of life on this planet when it comes to animals is believed to have started in and around the earths oceans. In fact a shark may replace its teeth as much as 20, times over the period of 25 years. Diet and Hunting Methods The megalodon is assumed to have had a diet that consisted of consuming fish , sea turtles, dugongs and large whales among other ocean life and marine mammals.
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Fighting the megalodon While the megalodon was the apex predator of its time researchers believe that it may have been attacked from time to time by other animals in the ocean that were able to defend themselves and fend off an attack from a megalodon.