KOMPAS.com – Megalodon is a giant shark that inhabited the oceans millions of years ago. Scientists have confirmed that these marine predators became extinct 2.6 million years ago.
However, through a number of fictional works such as the film The Meg which was released in 2018, Megalodon is said to still live in the depths of the ocean and could become a human threat.
The popularity of the film also prompts people to wonder, is it true that Megalodon is extinct?
The question was raised by Twitter netizens via the base account @subtanyarl on Sunday (7/3/2021).
Tanyarl ?? the ocean ??
Can you believe that Megalodon is still around until now? pic.twitter.com/ouoV4oJDHz
– DILARANG REP OOT ???? (@subtanyarl) March 7, 2021
“Do you believe that Megalodon is still around until now?” wrote one sender at that base.
The upload then attracted the attention of netizens. As of Monday (8/3/2021) at 12.30 WIB, the tweets had received more than 1,000 retweet and 9.9 thousand likes.
Citizens also expressed their opinions in the column reply the upload.
believe. because the ocean inside cannot be touched by all of us.
unless we can suck up all the water on earth …
So, who wants the first suction list?
– raput (@BelekMatahari) March 7, 2021
No, because he is really big in size and it is impossible for the sea to be able to live in him, let alone not only 1. If you live in the deepest sea it is impossible because there is less oxygen there, then what do you want to eat there?
– Beautiful ?? (@_c_alxbell) March 7, 2021
Is the giant shark Megalodon still alive?
Launch BBC, August 10, 2018, an expert on sharks and Megalodon from the University of Swansea, Wales, Catalina Pimiento, said Megalodon was confirmed to be extinct and no longer present in the oceans.
He said scientists have estimated Megalodon became extinct around 2.6 million years ago, along with the appearance of the great white shark, which is now an ocean predator.
In the film The Meg, Megalodon is said to have survived into the modern era, and lived in deep sea waters near Chinese territory.
However, Pimiento said, in fact Megalodon likely lived in shallow waters in the coastal area with a depth of no more than 200 meters.
According to him, if Megalodon was really still alive, then humanity would have discovered the existence of the giant shark, because its habitat is close to humans.
“It (Megalodon) is definitely extinct. It is impossible for the creature to still exist and live around us,” said Pimiento.
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Pimiento said scientists were able to estimate the true size of Megalodon thanks to the discovery of fossilized teeth belonging to the giant shark.
Megalodon is estimated to have a body size of between 13 meters to a maximum of 18 meters. If likened, Megalodon’s body size is equivalent to the length of two buses double decker.
According to Pimiento, Megalodon’s massive size was very impressive to scientists.
The reason is, with such a large body size, Megalodon has to work extra hard to get food.
“When compared to land animals for example, all the largest land animals are herbivores. If you have such a large body (Megalodon), then you need to eat a lot of prey and you need to hunt a lot to find that much food,” said Pimiento.
“That is why Megalodon is so amazing. Because he is giant and also a carnivorous predator,” said Pimiento.
Causes of Megalodon extinction
There is no definite evidence that Megalodon’s gigantic size was responsible for its extinction, but food availability is almost certainly a contributing factor.
Megalodons were the top predators in the ocean at the time. It eats other large marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins, and may also eat other shark species.
As a result of rapid sea level changes of around 2.6 million years, the coastal ecosystem inhabited by giant sharks has undergone changes.
Like dinosaurs, Megalodon liked warm temperatures. Megalodon hunts in warm shallow seas, as evidenced by Megalodon’s teeth found on every continent except Antarctica.
Launch Live Science, February 7, 2020, Megalodon may experience extinction when the oceans on earth dry up, the start of an ice age and water is only available at the poles.
This is likely to cause the giant shark to starve due to lack of food sources or freeze to extinction.
In recent times, Megalodon’s position as the top predator of the oceans has been replaced by smaller and more agile predators, such as the great white shark.
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