Megalodons created kindergartens for juveniles: ancient sharks made nurseries

Ancient sharks megalodons created kindergartens for young individuals

The world's largest ancient shark, the Megalodon, had interesting features associated with raising juveniles. The scientists believe sharks had social manifestations as megalodons created nurseries, and they were more common than science previously believed. The nurseries resembled kindergartens for young sharks. It turns out that these habitats for small megalodon sharks were very common.

A decade ago, the scientists discovered a megalodon nursery in Panama. Recently, another group of researchers discovered a similar nursery in northeastern Spain. Analysis of the discovered fossils showed that most of the fossilized remains belonged to young sharks and even to newborns.

Another analysis showed data from eight other locations that may have formed 16 to 3 million years ago. There, megalodon fossils were plentiful. The scientists estimated the size of the bodies of different sharks, and thus they determined the ratio of juveniles to adults, naming four places intended for nurseries. For young individuals, the so-called nursery areas were intended.

Young sharks were in them and were protected from any danger until they learned to protect themselves from dangerous marine predators on their own. But a new research suggests that the constant increase in such nurseries contributed to the extinction of the giant shark as a species.

The megalodon, or rather its adult, reached a length of 15 meters that makes it the largest aquatic predator that has ever existed on the planet. Most of the fossils date back to about 15 million years, it means that it was during the period that the population of these sharks was especially widespread.

Recent fossil records indicate its presence on the Earth no later than 2.6 million years ago. Putting juveniles in a nursery, that feature was preserved in many species of modern sharks. For example, in the waters in the north of Patagonia, the scientists observe such nurseries where a tiger shark protects its offspring from external influences and hazards.