Ocean’s Most Ferocious Prehistoric Predators, Raised Their Young in Nurseries,
Millions of years ago, monstrously sized sharks
named megalodons dominated the ocean. These giants grew larger than modern day
humpback whales, casually snacked on animals like dolphins and seals, had the
strongest bite force of any creature to ever exist—yes, including T. rex. But
despite being fierce predators, a new study published last week in the journal
Biology Letters suggests that megalodons were pretty good parents and raised
their young in nurseries, reports Mindy Weisberger for Live Science.
Nurseries provide a safe haven for baby sharks to
grow before they depart to take on the great blue sea. They are typically found
in warm, shallow waters, such as coral reefs and mangroves, that offer an
abundance of food. Nurseries also shield baby sharks from predators and protect
them as they learn to hunt, reports Melissa Cristina Márquez for Forbes. And
this behavior didn't die out with the megalodons—some modern-day shark species,
like great whites and catsharks, also raise their young in nurseries.
This discovery also offers a new
theory to how the world's most ferocious predator went extinct more than 3
million years ago, which remains a pervasive mystery. They know that megalodons
thrived during a period of warm temperatures that lasted for millions of years.
But as the climate cooled about 5 million years ago, it could have reduced the
availability of suitable nurseries for the sharks to raise their young. And
without good nurseries, juveniles wouldn't have survived, which could have
helped drive the species to extinction, reports AFP.
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further substantiates that Megalodon could not survive in today’s polluted dark
cold ocean depths.