10 Fascinating Facts About The Megalodon

The megalodon is an example of a shark that couldn’t adapt to its changing environment. Unlike people, animals can’t always move to a new location or find a new food source when their habitat changes. Megalodons were adapted to warmer waters and needed lots of enormous marine mammals to feed on. Paleontologists think that when the climate changed a couple of million years ago and other large marine mammals moved into colder waters, the megalodons were left behind without enough food to survive.

Some people argue that megalodons could still be swimming in unseen parts of the ocean. Although it’s true much of the ocean has yet to be explored, scientists note it’d be really difficult to miss a 50-foot-long, nearshore shark with a taste for whales. Sadly, the megalodon is long gone. Here are somefacts about the meg:

10. The word megalodon derives from Greek, meaning “giant tooth.” The shark’s full scientific name is Carcharocles megalodon.

9. Megalodon was the largest fish that ever lived. The largest individuals measured up to 58.7 feet or even larger. That’s about three times as big as the largest sharks in the ocean today.

8. It’s thought that megalodon ate 2,500 pounds of food per day.

7. Most fish are exclusively cold-blooded, but megalodon may have been like today’s great white sharks, which are considered partially warm-blooded because of the heat they generate while swimming. This would have allowed megalodon to hunt in colder waters.

6. Female megalodons may have been about twice as large as the males. Even an infant megalodon was huge, at least 6.6 feet from nose to tail.

5. Because of its size, megalodon was an apex predator in the ocean. It preyed upon fish, whales, dolphins, seals, and other marine animals.

4. Even though megalodons and dinosaurs are both extinct, they never coexisted. The dinosaurs died out about 66 million years ago. Megalodons came later. The oldest megalodon fossils are from the Miocene Epoch, which began 23 million years ago.

3. Fossil remains of the megalodon have been found off the coast of every continent except Antarctica. Between 2007 and 2009, researchers collected a number of juvenile megalodon teeth in the waters off the coast of Panama. They believe this was an ancient nursery area.

2. Since sharks don’t have bones, most of what we know about megalodon comes from its large fossil teeth. The largest megalodon tooth ever found was 6.9 inches long. That’s almost three times longer than the average tooth of a modern great white shark.

1. With a mouth nearly 10 feet wide, megalodon may have had the most powerful bite of all time.