It ruled the seas for 21 million years – but then mysteriously disappeared.
Megalodon is the most massive shark species that ever lived, growing to 60 feet long, three times the size of the largest of today’s great whites.
Yet researchers have never found out why it suddenly disappeared 2.5 million years ago – until now.
New researcher has revealed energetic particles from an exploding star, known as muons, could have been to blame.
A new study claims energetic particles from an exploding star, known as muons, may have contributed to the extinction of the prehistoric monster shark megalodon.
The new research, led by Adrian Melott, an astrophysicist at the University of Kansas, concluded a supernova around 2.6 million years ago would have increased the flow of muons streaming through the atmosphere several hundred times over.
‘We find that the radiation dose from the muons will exceed the total present surface dose from all sources at depths up to 1 km and will persist for at least the lifetime of marine megafauna,’ the team wrote in the journal Astrobiology.
‘It is reasonable to hypothesize that this increase in radiation load may have contributed to a newly documented marine megafaunal extinction at that time.’
The study estimates cancer rates could have increased by 50 percent for an animal the size of a human, Melott told Quanta.