These safe havens for young megalodons provided food and protection from some of the greatest predators of the time, reducing early mortality and helping to maintain an adult population. New research published in the Journal of Biology Letters has been able to confirm for the first time that the powerful megalodon, Otodus megalodon, relied on nesting water, which was temporarily as well as geographically extensive. Researchers have suggested that degradation based on proper nursing could play a significant role in the death of one of the greatest predators in natural history 3.5 million years ago.
The authors of the study looked at 25 megalodon teeth in the Reverté and Vidal regions in Tarragona, Spain, from where they were able to estimate the size of the whole body by inputting fossil measurements as a mathematical model. Their research proved that the teeth from these sites were about 4 meters (13 feet) long and the older juvenile sharks were about 11 meters (36 feet) long. A recent study used this same modeling and found that the wings the size of an adult human would be 16 meters (52 feet) long. The huge difference in size between these adults and those found in Tarragona proves that these sharks are not yet fully grown.
Fossil teeth were used in all cases to predict the total size of the body, and their analysis showed that the Langhian (medium Miocene) showed a huge presence across both space from geological timescale to Zanclean (early Pliocene) and time.
The survey is the first of its kind to confirm the enduring nature of megalodon nurseries, proving that they played an important role for these ancient top predators as they do for the extra sharks that roam the ocean today. Researchers have suggested that the availability of suitable nurseries may have been a definitive cause of the species’ final death as the population was unable to secure the future of megalodon without safe water for development in sustainable adults for juveniles. Good for interested sailors but a sad reality for giant shark enthusiasts.
“These results are the first to show that nursery areas are generally O. megalodon used in large temporary and spatial fibers, played an important role in reducing mortality at an early age and maintaining an effective aging population,” the study authors wrote. “Ultimately, in the presence of a suitable nursery field and.