Megalodon extinct or not?

Megalodon (Carcharodes megalodon) is the largest shark that ever lived, it has been suggested that the extinction event for this species occurred 15.9-2.6Ma, during the middle Miocene to the Pliocene.

This study aimed to analyse fossils to determine when megalodon became extinct. They looked at 42 reliable fossil records.

Results:

  • An estimated extinction time of 3.5-2.6Ma.
  • Roughly 50% of the simulations suggested the extinction occurred before 2.6Ma,  whereas roughly 50% also occurred between 2.6-0.1Ma. In 0.06% of the simulations the extinction event was predicted to be after the present day and in 1.5% of the simulations it was predicted to be after 0.1Ma.

Conclusions:

  • This study suggests that Megalodon became extinct around the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary which was around 2.6Ma
  • They also reject claims that Megalodon exists today because more than 10,000 of the simulations suggested that the extinction occurred before the present day.

Reference:

Pimiento, Catalina, and Christopher F. Clements. “When Did Carcharocles megalodon Become Extinct? A New Analysis of the Fossil Record.” PloS one9.10 (2014): e111086.

Please see http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111086#pone-0111086-g001 for the online article

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LauraBennett1987

I have a degree in Zoology and I am currently a PhD student at The University of Nottingham where I am researching Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus 1
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