A giant predatory shark likely went extinct at least one million years earlier than previously thought, a new study from the US has found.

The 50-foot-long megalodon shark, featured in documentaries, books and blockbuster movies, was thought to have been erased by a supernova 2.6 million years ago.

A team of researchers from North Carolina have however identified problems with  fossil data of previous studies and concluded the extinction likely happened a million years earlier.

In the new study, scientists were able to show a continuous line of fossil records using fossils from California and Mexico, up until 3.6 million years ago.

The study, led by vertebrate paleontologist Robert Boessenecker from The College of Charleston, examined every fossil found in the densely sampled rocks of the West Coast.

They found a host of problems in individual fossil data of previous records and made extended adjustments which yielded the new date of 3.6 million-years-ago.

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