How did the sharks outlived the dinosaurs and adapted to the environment they live in?
Researches say that sharks fossils date back more than 400 million years ago. This means that sharks outlived dinosaurs and survive massive extinctions. And now it continues to serve an important role at the top of the underwater food chain.
After millions of years, more than 500 species of sharks roam the Earth’s oceans today. And sharks are found in almost every ocean type habitat. So how do sharks evolved in a way that suits their environment?
From ancient to modern sharks
Let’s take a look back on how the sharks managed to outlive the dinosaurs and how they adapted to their environment.
Originating from the time of the dinosaurs about 400-500 million years ago. And the earliest shark teeth found around the Devonian Period.
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Emma Bernard, fish fossil curator at the British Natural History Museum said,
From some of the soft tissue we have found fossilized, early sharks would have had a similar body plan to most modern day sharks.
The common thread is that they exploit different parts of the marine ecosystem.
So the more generalist an animal is the more likely it will be to adapt and survive changes in its environment, and the group as a whole will survive.
Despite this sharks really don’t have a natural predator but over 100 million of them are killed each year by humans. So I guess it’s up to us if the sharks will thrive in the future or not.