Great white sharks may have made the megalodon extinct

megalodon (Otodus megalodon), one of the largest sharks ever to survive, mysteriously disappeared from fossils about 3.6 million years ago. Scientists now suspect that the massive predator may have been driven to extinction by rival marine species: great white sharks.

Previous research has suggested that the decline of megalodon may coincide with the appearance of great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), who probably hunted the same prey as their older cousin Jeremy McCormack, a geoscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and lead author of a new study on these prehistoric rivals, told Live Science in an email. In support of this explanation for the relatively sudden disappearance of the megalodon were traces of bites on the bones of other marine animals; these traits are made of both large white and megalodon, suggesting that the two species may have competed for similar food resources.

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