Megalodon the shark, one of the largest predators ever lived, catches all the imagination and attention of the people. This amazing and largest shark is a matter of great fascination among the people. However, the Megalodon shark is an extinct species.
Megalodon the shark lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago during the age of Early Miocene to the Pliocene. Megalodon translates to “big tooth.” So, if you are also interested to know about the Megalodon, the largest shark, then keep scrolling! And to know more about this amazing creature is always interesting and curious.
WHAT IS MEGALODON THE SHARK?
Megalodon the shark is the largest known shark till now. The earliest fossils of Megalodon, i.e., Otodus Megalodon, dates back to 20 million years ago. And since then, for the next 13 million years ago, the enormous megalodon shark continued to rule or dominate the whole ocean till it became extinct just 3.6 million years ago.
Megalodon the shark is not only the largest shark known till now but also the largest fish that ever existed. It has been estimated that Megalodon the shark grew between 15 to 18 meters in length, i.e., three times longer than the largest known white shark. As the name of Megalodon the shark suggests, it has 18 centimeters long. And these teeth of the Megalodon shark reveals a lot about the shark.
WHAT DID MEGALODON THE SHARK EAT?
Megalodon Shark’s teeth reveal that they would have eaten meat- most likely large fish and whales and probably the other sharks too. And the size of this large Megalodon shark reveals that the big body needs a lot of food, so they require a larger prey. Hence, it has been guessed that the food of Megalodon the shark included animals as small as dolphins and as large as humpback whales.
According to the other evidence related to Megalodon’s feeding habits in the form of fossilized bones. Some of the pieces of evidence were found to have cut marks of megalodon teeth etched in the surface. Some even include the tips of teeth broken off in the bone during the feeding frenzy that occurred millions of years ago.
WHAT DID MEGALODON LOOK LIKE?
Megalodon the shark is believed to have a shorter nose or rostrum when compared with the great white, with a flatter, almost squashed jaw. Just as the blue shark Megalodon shark also had extra-long pectoral fins to support its size and weight. The oldest definitive ancestor of Megalodon the shark is a 55-million-old shark known to us as Otodus obliquus. This ancestor shark is believed to grow around 10 meters in length. But the history of this shark dates back to 105 million years ago to the Cretalamna appendiculate. And this makes the lineage of a megalodon the shark over 100 million years ago.
EXTINCTION OF A MEGALODON SHARK
The extinction of megalodon the shark is believed to be by the end of the Pliocene, i.e., 2.6 million years ago. It was when the planet entered a phase of global cooling. Precisely it is not actually known that when the last megalodon shark died. But according to the new evidence, it was at least 3.6 million years ago.
It can be said that the extinction of Megalodon sharks is due to the cooling of the planet. As the sharks were dependent on the tropical waters and the drop in the ocean’s temperature resulted in a significant loss of habitat. This also contributed to the extinction of the prey of the Megalodon shark and hence resulted in the gradual extinction of the Megalodon shark.
FASCINATING FACTS RELATED TO THE MEGALODON SHARK
- Megalodon the shark is the largest shark or fish that has ever lived, measuring up to 58.7 feet or even larger.
- It is believed that Megalodon the shark ate about 2,500 pounds of food per day.
- Most of the fishes are exclusively cold-blooded, but the Megalodon sharks are believed to be partially warm-blooded. This was because of the generation of heat when they used to swim.
- The Female Megalodon sharks are believed to be twice large as the male megalodons. And even an infant megalodon shark is huge, at least 6.6 feet from its nose to tail.
- The size of the megalodon shark made it the apex predator in the ocean. And they used to prey upon fishes, seals, dolphins, whales, and many other marine animals.
- The most interesting fact related to Megalodon is that both dinosaurs and megalodon sharks are now extinct, but they never coexisted. The dinosaurs are believed to be extinct 66 million years ago. The oldest fossils of the Megalodon say that they began 23 million years ago.
- The remains of the Megalodon sharks have been found off the coast of every continent but Antarctica. And between the years 2007 and 2009, the researchers collected several juvenile teeth of megalodon sharks in the waters off the coast of Panama, and they have assumed that this area was an ancient nursery.
- The megalodons are known for their teeth, and the largest tooth of the Megalodon that was found is 6.9 inches long. This is almost three times longer than the average tooth of a normal great wide shark.
- The mouth of the megalodon shark is believed to be about 10 feet wide, and it is said that Megalodon may have had the most powerful wide of all time.
COULD THE MEGALODON SHARK STILL EXIST?
No, it is not so. The Megalodon sharks are not still alive in the oceans. And if any such huge creature still lived anywhere, our researchers and scientists would have definitely known about them. And one of the major reasons for their nonexistence is that they were the creatures apt to the warm water; hence there is no chance that they will ever survive in the cold water. So, they are now completely extinct, and there is no chance that they still exist.