Paleontologists first discovered the ancient nursery white sharks — the ocean where the predator multiplied and grew. According to a publication in Scientific Reports, in the Pliocene era, they were located off the coast of Central Chile. The researchers note that the study of ancient and modern nurseries white sharks will help preserve this vulnerable species.
White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) are born and spend his early years in the so-called shark nurseries. These rich food and are protected from the dangers of the ocean provide young sharks perfect start to life. Since the nursery is extremely important for the conservation of this species, scientists are actively looking for them, focusing on a number of criteria, the most important of which is the high number of immature individuals. According to reports, in our day nursery there are white sharks in the Mediterranean sea and off the coast of South Africa, South-Eastern Australia, California and Western North America.
In search of shark nurseries are interested and paleontologists. They have managed to detect the breeding sites of several species of fossil shark that lived from the Triassic to the Miocene, including the famous giant shark Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon). However, the ancient nursery of the white shark still has not been found, although this species exists on the planet at least 16 million years and is richly represented in the fossil record.
The team of scientists led Viafara Jaime (Jaime A. Villafaña) from the University of Vienna managed to figure out where he was born and spent my childhood years by a white shark that lived during the Pliocene epoch, from five and a half to two and a half million years ago. The researchers studied the dimensions of 234 teeth fossil of this species discovered at three points along the coast of Peru and Chile. Based on these data, they calculated the average length of the individuals who owned these teeth.
Most are small, and so a young white shark was found near the modern city of Coquimbo on the coast of Central Chile. According to the authors, it is here in the Pliocene and housed the manger of this species. The area provided ideal conditions for shark rearing: extensive shallows were carried out their favorite types of fish and it was not large predators.
The other two studied plots were found less remains of young white sharks, and the environment is not so well suited for them. Apparently, you spent time with individuals older of age.
Nursery school in Coquimbo been used for several million years. Today, however, white sharks do not reproduce here. The authors emphasize that the study of conditions which allow the shark to exist the manger will allow to better protect this vulnerable species.
Examining the vertebrae fossils of ancient sharks-prikhodov that lived in the Cretaceous period, paleontologists found outthat they have very few offspring and grow slowly. These features could contribute to their extinction.