What If Megalodon Sharks Didn’t Go Extinct?


Hello and welcome back to Life’s Biggest
Questions, I’m Ron McKenzie-Lefurgey. The Megalodon was an enormous aquatic carnivore
from the Early Miocene era to the end of the Pliocene. It was a superpredator that preyed on everything
from whales to turtles, using its powerful jaws to bite through just about anything in
the sea. But what if these enormous beasts didn’t
go extinct 2.6 million years ago, but remained to this day? Let’s explore. By the way, while this is in no way related,
if you happen to be a fan of Fortnite, the new game sweeping the world, head on over
to Fortnite Central. It’s a new sister channel that talks about
all things Fortnite. Now get ready, it’s time to ask the question:
What if Megalodons Didn’t Go Extinct? First of all, let’s go over some quick facts
about Megalodons so we’re all on the same page. The name megalodon comes from the Greek, meaning
“Big Tooth”, and with teeth over 6 inches in length, the name does not lie. The megalodon looked something like a beefed
up great white shark, which is part of why some scientists believe them to be closely
related. Reaching roughly 60 feet, or 18 metres in
length, this beast would be among the largest in the ocean, even longer than a city bus. Due to its powerful jaws, able to bite with
over 180,000 newtons of force, it’s believed that the Megalodon attacked its prey from
the side, biting through its body into its vital organs, rather than attacking from beneath
like a great white shark. This creature was built to hunt, and was an
extremely successful predator, preying mostly on large creatures like whales, seals, and
giant turtles. But if these creatures were so incredibly
fit for their surroundings, how did they end up going extinct? Let’s look into it, since this could help
us understand them, and understand the necessary changes to the world in order for them to
survive. Climate change certainly played a factor in
its extinction. Not the man-made climate change we’ve seen
in recent years, but the natural, much more gradual change that has been seen throughout
the history of the earth. Global cooling made it more difficult for
them to survive in many climates. However, as the temperature changed, many
migrated to more suitable areas. However, this climate change had another effect
that did lead to the extinction of the megalodon. By the end of the Miocene, many of the species
the megalodon preyed on had gone extinct, and those that survived were more difficult
to catch. The lack of food, and competition with other
superpredators, led to the extinction of the Megalodon. So, if we’re imagining a world where Megalodons
didn’t go extinct, we would need the food sources, particularly the mysticetes or Baleen
Whales, to not go extinct either. This means that not only would our world have
enormous sharks swimming around, but whales would be more diverse and abundant as well. This in turn would mean that smaller fish
and krill would have to be more abundant, to feed the whales, which in turn would feed
the Megalodon. But that’s not all. The increase in mysticetes would mean that
other species of superpredators could also survive. This means that we wouldn’t only have to
worry about the megalodon, but other large creatures as well. All this is to say that the addition of the
megalodon would Make Waves, in the ocean’s ecosystems. Pun very much intended. But there’s another rather pressing question
to answer: how would this affect us? Well, if we’re looking at how early humans
would interact with Megalodons, we could look at the video game Ark. If you play Ark, you’ll know that these
pesky prehistoric sharks love to strand low level players on islands. There’s nothing more frustrating than swimming
to an island only to find yourself surrounded by Megalodons. And this is something that could well have
been an issue in the early days of humanity. Since they tended to reside off the coast,
even a trip on a raft or small boat could lead to an attack. However, there were already large, dangerous
creatures in the ocean at that time, and the edition of another likely wouldn’t have
huge effects on humanity’s travels across the ocean. Nowadays, the existence of Megalodons wouldn’t
have a huge effect on humanity as a whole. It would certainly be interesting, albeit
terrifying, to see a living one, but we have progressed to the point where we don’t really
depend on seafaring on small vessels. Perhaps there would be the odd story of a
megalodon attack off the coast, which would of course make the headlines, but the actual
odds of this happening would be rather slim. And now we return to our question: What if
Megalodons Didn’t Go Extinct? Well, if the Megalodon was to survive, sea
life would likely need to be more diverse and abundant, in order to feed all members
of the ecosystem. In terms of its impacts on humanity, it might
have been quite terrifying in man’s early days, but modern humans likely wouldn’t
have much trouble with it. That said, I don’t know about you, but I
might think twice about going into the water, knowing there could be a bus with teeth waiting
for me. Thank you for watching Life’s Biggest Questions,
I hope this was interesting and informative, and maybe even inspired you to look into it
further on your own. If you liked this video, please thumbs up
and subscribe to the channel down below. While you’re down there, let me know what
you would do if you had a pet Megalodon. Until next time, I’m Ron McKenzie-Lefurgey
with Life’s Biggest Questions, wishing you the best of luck, on your quest for answers.

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