Sharks have been in the world’s oceans for millions of years, and apparently the decimation in their population in recent decades isn’t the first time it’s happened.
A new study published recently has found that the global shark population took a massive hit about 19 million years ago, nearly going extinct.
While scientists can’t quite pin down the cause of this near-extinction, they did find in sediment samples that the abundance of sharks declined by more than 70 percent during the early Miocene period.
The shark population that managed to survive and evolve over the next 2 to 5 million years after that event is only a tiny fraction of what the population used to be, according to the study in Science Magazine:
“There is no known climatic and/or environmental driver of this extinction, and its cause remains a mystery.”
Check out the study at sciencemag.org.