Its full name is Carcharocles Megalodon, but some shark enthusiasts just call it “the Meg.” Whatever name it goes by, this giant was the biggest baddie of the ocean when it terrorized the waters 2 million years ago. If you’re afraid of modern sharks, get ready for these facts because this prehistoric predator puts them all to shame!
The Megalodon was the biggest shark ever 0:58
We don’t have many fossils of it today 1:40
The Megalodon had enormous teeth 2:35
The Megalodon had a killer smile 3:13
It’s not related to the great white shark 4:00
The Megalodon had a powerful bite 4:38
Its favorite dish was whales 5:24
Their nurseries have been discovered 6:18
It had competition 7:08
It was top of the food chain 7:40
– Different estimates put its size anywhere from 45 up to 60 feet in length. To put that into perspective, 60 feet would make the Megalodon about 4 times the size of the average great white shark.
– There’s currently a very limited amount of Megalodon fossils. Shark skeletons are made of cartilage, which doesn’t fossilize very well. So, that means almost all that remains of the mighty Meg are its teeth, which have been found on every continent except for Asia and Antarctica.
– Most of its teeth were about 4 to 5 inches long, but the largest tooth ever found was 7.48 inches, and it was discovered in Peru.
– In order to feast regularly on large prey, the Meg had an impressive set of 276 teeth that sat in 5 rows in its mouth. Most fossilized teeth that have been recovered show a significant amount of wear on the tips, and some have had the tips completely broken off from biting on the bones of its prey.
– Popular belief has it that the great white shark is a descendant of the Meg, but that claim has been disproven. When the first fossilized teeth of the Megalodon were discovered, they placed the mighty shark in the same genus as the great white.
– In order to chew on the bones of its prey, the Meg needed to have a very powerful bite. To figure out how strong its bite was, a research group led by biologist Dr. Stephen Wroe conducted simulations and reported that the Megalodon could bite down on its prey with 24,000 to 40,000 pounds of pressure.
– . Scientists know that the Megalodon loved to eat whales because fossilized whale bones have been found with bite marks that match the Megalodon’s teeth.
– When the Megalodon was ready to give birth, it would travel to shallow waters where large predators couldn’t follow.
– The Megalodon wasn’t the only giant to terrorize the oceans. Livyatan Melvillei was a sperm whale that was over 60 feet long, weighed more than 50 tons, and its 14-inch teeth were the biggest of the animal kingdom.
– The Megalodon was the top predator of the ocean… until it wasn’t. The giant shark went extinct 2.6 million years ago, and there are several theories as to why this happened.
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