Megalodon: Facts about the long-gone, giant shark

Megalodon: Facts about the long-gone, giant shark

The Megalodon was one enormous monster.

Otodus megalodon, the biggest shark ever recorded on Earth, dominated the oceans for more than 20 million years.

The megalodon was the biggest shark and one of the largest animals ever recorded before it went extinct millions of years ago. Otodus megalodon, the species’ scientific name, translates to “giant tooth” and for good reason: Its enormous canines are nearly three times bigger than the teeth of a contemporary great white shark.(opens in new tab). The preserved bones and fangs of the megalodon shark contain important information about the creature’s characteristics and its demise.

WHEN DID MEGALODON GO EXTINCT?

Although the famous 2018 film “The Meg” pits contemporary humans against a massive megalodon shark, it is highly probable that the creature perished before humans even developed. However, due to the incompleteness of the geological record, it is challenging to determine the precise date that the megalodon went extinct.

Although the famous 2018 film “The Meg” pits contemporary humans against a massive megalodon shark, it is highly probable that the creature perished before humans even developed. However, due to the incompleteness of the geological record, it is challenging to determine the precise date that the megalodon went extinct.

Six out of 10,000 simulations, a very tiny portion of the Zurich study’s data, indicated a 1% likelihood that these enormous sharks might still be living. That likelihood appears to be very remote, and the experts in the study dismissed “popular claims of O. megalodon’s present-day survival.”

Scientists concur that megalodon sharks are extinct because no recent proof of the beast has been found, not even fossils that are older than 2.6 million years.

HOW BIG WAS MEGALODON?

The megalodon was a huge animal, but it may not have been as large as you imagine. The size of the megalodon is a subject of intense debate in the scholarly world.

According to the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London, some people think that the fish could reach a maximum length of 60 feet (18 meters) based only on the size of the tooth, while others believe that a length of about 80 feet (25 m) is more probable.

According to Animal Diversity Web, contemporary great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) grow to a length of 20 feet (6 meters). The whale shark (Rhincodon typus), which grows to a length of 32 feet, is even bigger. (9.7 m). According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), which has been known to reach up to 36 feet (11 m), is the largest bony fish living (sharks do not have bones; their bodies are composed of cartilage).

According to Animal Diversity Web, contemporary great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) grow to a length of 20 feet (6 meters). The whale shark (Rhincodon typus), which grows to a length of 32 feet, is even bigger. (9.7 m). According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), which has been known to reach up to 36 feet (11 m), is the largest bony fish living (sharks do not have bones; their bodies are composed of cartilage).

Martin Becker

Professor at William Paterson University’s Department of Environmental Sciences
Professor Martin Becker works at William Paterson University in New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Sciences. The primary emphasis of Becker’s study, which is based on self-collected fossil assemblages found all over the United States, is the development of reptiles, osteichthyans, and chondrichthyans. More than 40 peer-reviewed papers co-authored by Becker describe large-scale climate change, the past of the sea level, and global extinction.

Nearly three times longer than great white shark teeth, the biggest megalodon molar is about 7 inches long (17.8 centimeters). Ancient cultures developed origin theories for the animals as a result of their enormous dimensions. For instance, early megalodon shark teeth found in western Europe were initially believed to be the preserved mouths of prehistoric serpents. They were referred to as “tongue stones.”

The impressive canines are widely distributed throughout the globe. Megalodon teeth are coveted by fossil enthusiasts for their varied colors, serrated edges, and big dimensions when compared to other fossil and contemporary shark teeth, according to Becker. Megalodon teeth from previous fossil collections have lost worth as investments because they are now available on the online market.

WHERE DID MEGALODON LIVE?

The megalodon preferred temperature, just like dinosaurs did. It hunted in the warm, shallow waters that encompassed most of the globe at the time. All continents besides Antarctica have been discovered to contain Megalodon molars. According to Discovery, the extinction of Megalodon may have occurred when these oceans dried up, the ice period started, and water became trapped at the poles. Shark demise resulted from starvation or freezing to death.

WHAT DID MEGALODON EAT?

A predator at the apex of the food hierarchy, the megalodon. It consumed larger aquatic animals like whales and dolphins for food. Even other sharks may have been consumed, claims Discovery.

According to the BBC, scientists believe that the megalodon would first assault the animals’ tails and flippers to stop them from swimming away before moving in for the kill. The 276 sharpened teeth of the megalodon were ideal for tearing tissue.

These sharks were vicious biters as well. According to the NHM, experts hypothesized that the megalodon had a bite force between 108,514 and 182,201 newtons, whereas humans have been observed to have a bite force of approximately 1,317 newtons.

Megalodon co-evolved with whales as a major dietary supply, according to Becker. “Whales were animals with the capacity to thermoregulate and move to the polar regions’ colder seas. Although the precise thermoregulatory skills are still under investigation, it is thought that one of the main factors contributing to the extinction of the megalodon was its failure to pursue whales in colder water.

FUN FACTS ABOUT MEGALODON

Cold waters may have killed the megalodon shark:

Megalodons disappeared about 3.6 million years ago, as Earth began to experience a time of worldwide cooling and drying, according to the Natural History Museum. Megalodons lived in tropical waters, but as ocean temps fell at the end of the Pliocene period and oceans started to freeze, their range may have been significantly limited, according to a story from Live Science. While this was going on, a large portion of their victims, mainly smaller whales, seals, and sea turtles, perished or moved to areas of the ocean that were too chilly for their shark hunters.

Megalodons had cannibal babies

According to an earlier Live Science story, megalodon shark babies may have eaten their own relatives to guarantee their survival. Eating the embryos allowed the remaining shark more area to develop and reach lengths of 6.6 feet (2 meters) at birth because each embryo would expand to take up a considerable amount of space.

Megalodons existed for nearly 70 times longer than modern humans have:

The Natural History Museum estimates that Megalodons lived in the seas for about 20 million years, whereas Homo sapiens only emerged about 300,000 years ago.(opens in new tab). The secret to these sharks’ prolonged dominance is probably their nearly unbeatable girth. The bulk of the marine life in the area at the time, according to Smithsonian Magazine, could be used as food by sharks.

Megalodon bites were the strongest of any animal

According to an earlier article by Live Science, Megalodon bites are thought to be at least six times as potent as those of Tyrannosaurus rex and stronger than those of any other known mammal. According to the Natural History Museum, the expected bite power of megalodons ranges from 108,514 to 182,201 Newtons (24,395 to 40,960 pound-force). This made it possible for these enormous sharks to eat big whales and seafood. Compared to people, great white shark bites only achieve 18,219 N (4,096 pounds), according to the Natural History Museum.

Their fossilized remains were mistaken for dragons’ tongues

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, people used to believe that these pointed pebbles were the ends of dragons’ mouths before realizing the link between fossilized megalodon teeth and contemporary shark teeth. According to Smithsonian Magazine, it was widely thought that these enigmatic pebbles had healing qualities in the 17th century, and people would gather them for good luck.

Additional resources:

  • WSB-TV (Atlanta): Giant prehistoric Megalodon shark teeth found in hot spot along Carolina coast
  • Discovery: Megalodon
  • Deepsea News: How We Know Megalodon Doesn’t Still Exist?

How many hearts does an octopus have?

How big can animals get?

Related Posts

A six-month level-up
Fintech

A six-month level-up

Leveling up your life in six months is an yearning but achievable objective. Here are a few steps you’ll take to create critical advance in different zones of your life inside this timeframe: Set Particular Objectives:  Characterize clear, particular objectives simply want to realize inside the another six months. Make beyond any doubt your objectives are practical and aligned along with your overall vision for individual development. Prioritize Your Objectives:  Recognize the foremost imperative regions of your life that you just need to center on amid this period. It might be your career, wellbeing, connections, individual advancement, or any other angle. By prioritizing, you’ll coordinate your vitality and endeavors viably. Make a Arrange: Break down your objectives into littler, significant steps. Make a timeline with particular due dates for each turning

Read More »
In a year, transform your life.
Fintech

In a year, transform your life.

Changing your life in one year is an yearning objective, but with commitment and a centered approach, it is conceivable to form critical positive changes. Here are some steps you’ll take to convert your life in one year: Set Clear Objectives:  Characterize what you need to attain totally different regions of your life, such as career, connections, wellbeing, individual advancement, and funds. Make beyond any doubt your objectives are particular, quantifiable, achievable, important, and time-bound (SMART objectives). Make a Arrange: Break down your objectives into littler, noteworthy steps. Make a timeline and set due dates for each turning point. This

Read More »
Quit spending like a middle-class person.
Fintech

Quit spending like a middle-class person.

The phrase “Stop budgeting like middle class” suggests that there is a need to change the way one approaches budgeting in order to achieve financial success beyond the middle-class level. Here are a few strategies often recommended for individuals aiming to elevate their financial situation: Set ambitious financial goals: Aim for more than just making

Read More »
Scroll to Top