Megalodon Facts : The Megalodon, or megatooth shark, is known mainly from its fossil teeth and vertebra – since it was a cartilaginous fish, it did not have proper bones, and therefore they are not well preserved as fossils. Scientists estimate that it grew up to 16 to 20 metres long (55 feet to 70 feet), weighing perhaps 55000 kg (120000 pounds).
What did the Megalodon eat? The Megalodon was a predator. A Megalodon tooth is about 17cm (7 inches) long! Along with this and its huge size, its favourite food was most likely whale. It probably looked a lot like the great white shark – only four times as big!
The Megalodon was a shark . It belonged to a family of sharks called the Mackerel sharks or White sharks (Lamnidae). These sharks are fast-swimming sharks, that love eating meat. Depite their reputation, even the most ferocious rarely attack people. They prefer fish, seals, and other ocean-dwelling creatures. Since the Megalodon was a Lamnidae, it follows that as well as being the world’s largest ever Cartilaginous fish ,
- The world’s largest ever Mackerel Shark was the Megalodon,
- The world’s largest ever Shark was the Megalodon,
However, after that, the Megalodon steps aside in the record books. The world’s largest fish was the Leedsichthys , and the world’s largest ever animal and vertebrate is the Blue Whale (which is a whale!).
Megalodon means “enormous tooth”. The scientific name for the Megalodon is still debated by scientists. Some feel it should be Carcharodon megalodon, since it is similar to the Great White Pointer (Carcharodon carcharias). Others feel it is different enough to deserve its own “genus”, and propose the name Carcharocles megalodon.
Megalodon picture: Since the Megalodon is extinct, we can only imagine what it looked like. A google image search will lead you to a few such imaginings, as well as many actual photos of fossil megalodon teeth.
Living Megalodon Shark : Of course, such a huge predator inspires some to imagine still further – there are many rumours of sightings of the Megalodon. However, investigation usually proves that the witnesses only saw a very large Great White Shark. In the meantime, of course, this enormous predator has inspired its share of of Megalodon books and movies. Warning! Not for the faint-at-heart!