Megalodon: One Of The Terrible Predators Of The Past

The megalodon was a giant shark that scientists assume was over 16 meters long. It is also believed that its bite was 10 times more powerful than that of a white shark.
Megalodon: One of the Terrible Predators of the Past

Among all the extinct animals that populated our planet, the dreaded megalodon ( Carcharodon megalodon)  is one of the most remarkable species, being one of the most terrible predators that populated our seas.

Megalodon Discovery

Megalodon is an extinct relative of the white shark that lived during the Cenozoic. He probably lived over 12 million years in many of the planet’s oceans.

It is believed that some specimens of this animal may have reached 18 meters in length. Megalodon has lived in most of the world’s seas and is probably one of the key species in the ecosystems it inhabited.

Interestingly, finding megalodon teeth was quite common, and in the Renaissance they were thought to be fossilized dragon tongues.

It wasn’t until the 17th century that a Danish naturalist recognized them as the teeth of ancient sharks.

Megalodon Tooth Size

How big was it?

It was only in the 19th century that this species received its name. It is difficult to imagine what this animal was like, since being a cartilaginous fish, like other sharks, it could hardly fossilize.

Only fossilized teeth and vertebrae were found, which made it possible to estimate the size of the megalodon.

It is difficult to estimate the size of an extinct animal with so few fossil records. Rebuilding its jaw was complicated, and  many scientists have tried to estimate its length, but most agree that it may have exceeded 16 meters.

It is similarly believed that the animal could easily have exceeded 60 tons; that’s why  we speak of a colossal shark much larger than the white shark, an animal that barely reaches seven meters and weighs almost two tons.

Megalodon is believed to have five times the bite force of a tyrannosaurus and up to 10 times that of a white shark; so it is also believed that he could hunt the biggest whale in the world.

It is possible that he managed to cut and break bones, so all marine mammals were prey to this animal.


It is estimated that young megalodons preferred to hunt small cetaceans such as dolphins and sea lions; however, as adults, they would be able to hunt sperm whales.

It is believed that he could easily fracture his prey’s rib cage, which would cause a very quick death.

Why has the megalodon disappeared?

There are many theories about the end of these sharks. There is talk mainly about the drop in sea levels and the cooling of the ocean, as it is a species linked to warm waters.

The decline in their prey is also another possible cause of their demise, because  while dolphins and orcas thrived, hunting smaller prey, the megalodon ran out of food.

As with most extinctions, it is likely that the sum of several causes was what drove the megalodon to extinction.

There are many who say that the disappearance of this species had enormous consequences for the evolution of marine fauna and especially for cetaceans, which could thrive without a shark hunting them.

Remember that, currently, the orcas attacking sharks in South Africa, but it is likely that when the megalodon swam the seas of the world, cetaceans feared this formidable predator.

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