The Megalodon went extinct more than 3.6 million years ago but it still continues to capture our imagination. And why not? It is one of the largest fish ever to prowl the oceans. But is that all there is to know about these massive, ancient creatures? The answer is no. Today, with advancements in science and technology, scientists have been able to uncover some crucial bits of information about these legendary sharks. And here are some fascinating facts about the Megalodon that you, too, should know:
- The biggest shark that ever lived
Reaching up to lengths of 60 to 70 feet and an estimated weight of more than 60 tons, it was not only the biggest shark but also one of the biggest fish to have ever lived. In comparison, the largest Great White shark does grow beyond 23 inches and 3 ½ tons. Although the modern Sperm Whale is longer, it has been said that the Megalodon was much heavier. The earliest Megalodon fossils date back to 23 million years ago. Since shark skeletons are made of cartilage, they do not fossilize properly. So, scientists only have Megalodon teeth to determine their size. While this has led to numerous speculations over the years, the widely accepted range is 60 to 70 feet.
- Huge teeth
The Megalodon has large teeth, which earned it its scientific name “Otodus megalodon.” Previously, it was known as Carcharodon or Carcharocles megalodon. While most adult Megalodon teeth were around 4 to 5 inches long, some fossil teeth have been found that measure more than 7 inches. The present-day Great White has teeth that reach a maximum of 3 inches. It is estimated that the Megalodon had a wide jaw, reaching up to 7 feet across.
- Widely spread across the globe
The Megalodon was a truly cosmopolitan shark. It was able to adapt to warm tropical and subtropical climates, which allowed it to thrive all around the globe, from the present-day east coast of North America to Central Asia and Australia. In fact, Megalodon teeth have been found on every continent apart from Antarctica.
- Never coexisted with dinosaurs
Megalodons and dinosaurs are, without a doubt, two of the most popular prehistoric species. But did you know that they never coexisted? Dinosaurs went extinct around 66 million years ago. The first Megalodons came much later. As mentioned earlier, the oldest Megalodon fossils are from the Miocene Epoch, which was 23 million years ago.
- Looked nothing like the Great White
Contrary to popular belief, the Megalodon is not closely related to the Great White. In fact, popular media might have you believe that it resembled the Great White, which is also not true. Fossil evidence and scientific consensus show that while the Megalodon represented the end-point in a chronospecies, the Great White is related to the Mako shark, both of which evolved from the extinct Broad Tooth Mako.
At SharksTeeth.com, we offer a collection of Megalodon teeth for sale. The Megalodon shark, one of the largest predators to ever live on this planet, continues to fascinate the scientific community and the common man, alike. We also offer Megalodon teeth jewelry.