Great white sharks’ dominance doomed giant megalodons, scientists say

A megalodon tooth is seen next to a great white's tooth.
A megalodon tooth is seen next to a great white's tooth.(Source: MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology/CNN)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 1:27 PM EDT
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(CNN) - Scientists said they may have an answer as to why the giant shark megalodon went extinct.

They said they think the megalodon likely had to compete with the great white shark for prey, and the great white won the battle for survival.

The megalodon lived more than 23 million years ago and was almost four times the size of the great whites seen cruising oceans today.

However, in the fight for food, it lost out.

Scientists arrived at that finding using a new technique that looks at zinc levels contained in the teeth of dozens of shark species to see where each shark fit in the food chain.

Zinc plays a crucial role in bone development and preserves a record in the teeth of what kind of prey was consumed.

Scientists said they believe both great whites and megalodon sharks feasted on large fish, but the smaller-sized great whites didn’t require as much food to survive, giving them a competitive advantage.

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