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Mind-Blowing Megalodon Facts You Won't Believe

Megalodon facts include information about megalodon's diet, habitat, size, and extinction status.

When 'The Meg' was released in 2018, it sparked a worldwide fascination with the Megalodon. People were curious to learn more about the world's largest shark. What was its size in comparison to other marine mammals? What did it eat? Where did it live? What are the chances of a megalodon lurking in the depths of the ocean? This article will answer these and other megalodon-related questions.

First and foremost, the most recent megalodon fossil was discovered 2.6 million years ago. As a result, there is no Carcharocles megalodon lurking in the depths of the ocean. However, if you want to see the world's largest shark, you can go to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., where you can find a life-size copy of the megalodon shark.

Here is a sneak peek into the megalodon history, if you like this article, check out fin whale facts and wimple piranha facts.

Megalodon Interesting Facts

What type of animal was a megalodon?

The megalodon, the world's largest shark, was a gigantic marine creature that went extinct roughly 2.6 million years ago.

What class of animal does a megalodon belong to?

A megalodon was a cartilaginous fish that belonged to the Chondrichthyes class, which also contains skates, rays, chimeras, and other sharks.

How many megalodons are there in the world?

The megalodon shark went extinct about 3 million years ago.

Where did a megalodon live? 

The megalodon, the world's largest fish, used to live in the ocean. Except at the poles, megalodon fossils show that they adapted to diverse ocean habitats.

What was a megalodon's habitat? 

The megalodon's habitat extended from the coasts of Denmark to the coasts of New Zealand. Fossils of this shark have been found in both tropical and temperate oceans. However, they had a preference for warm and shallow waters. The Megalodon, like great white sharks, would have been able to hunt in colder waters since it was cold-blooded.

Who did a megalodon live with?

There is no specific information regarding whether the megalodon lived alone or in flocks.

How long did a megalodon live?

According to scientists, a megalodon could live for 88-100 years.

How did they reproduce?

It is unknown how the megalodon gave birth because it is extinct. Living sharks reproduce in two ways: viviparous and ovoviviparous. Viviparity is the most common mode of reproduction in sharks. In this position, the mother continues to nourish her young by delivering nutrients via the umbilical cord. Ovoviviparity is a less common method of reproduction. While the egg develops within the mother, it receives no nutrients from the mother. Both methods produce a live birth.

There is little information available about their courtship rituals. Natural habitats cocooned by bays and estuaries served as nurseries for the megalodon. Aside from protection, these habitats provided a plentiful supply of prey for the young to grow. The megalodon's nursery habitats are documented in fossil records in Panama, Maryland, the Canary Islands, and Florida.

What is their conservation status?

The megalodon went extinct during the Pliocene Pleistocene period.

Megalodon Fun Facts

What did the megalodon look like?

The largest megalodon tooth ever found is around 7 in (17.7 cm)

The megalodon is an ancestor of the great white shark. However, research has shown that the Megalodon was the last living shark from another lineage. It used to exist side by side with the actual ancestors of the great white shark.

Fossil reconstructions reveal that the megalodon had a short rostrum, flat or squashed jawline, crescent-shaped tail, and long pectoral fins. This knowledge was gained from the shark's fossil teeth. To attack and prey on mammals as large as the whale, the Megalodon had to have a wide mouth. Fossil records reveal the Megalodon's jaw would be 106.29-133.85 in (2.7-3.4 m) wide. To put it in perspective, its jaw was so big that it could swallow two adult human beings simultaneously. The fossil records of the megalodon's teeth have revealed insights into its physiology, behavior, distribution, habitat, reproduction, and finally, extinction.

There are 276 teeth in the Megalodon's mouth. Thanks to the availability of the megalodon teeth, researchers have been able to discover more about this predator. The teeth are thicker, triangular, serrated, and symmetrical. The largest tooth found belonging to the megalodon was 6.9 in (17 cm) long. The bite marks found on fossils revealed the bite diameter of the megalodon was approximately 9.8 ft (3 m).

Regional endothermy allowed the megalodon to manage their body temperature. By contracting its swimming muscles, the megalodon was able to generate and transfer heat to its body. So, unlike cold-blooded fish, the megalodon was able to colonize colder waters as well. This adaptation allowed them to hunt for prey available in colder seas.

How cute were they?

The megalodon was one of the most dangerous and largest predators that ever lived in the ocean. They resembled the modern great white shark in appearance. According to the fossil record, the bite force of the megalodon could have easily torn through the skin of a whale. As a result, they are definitely not cute.

How did they communicate?

There is little or no information on how megalodons communicated. Generally, sharks communicate by arching their bodies. To navigate their surroundings, sharks made use of its lateral line, an organ that helps them feel the water vibrations. Another way by which sharks communicate is by using their prey's electric fields to detect the location of prey. They also use their sense of smell to discover and attract their mates.

How big was a megalodon? 

Three times longer than the great white shark, the megalodon was the largest shark in the ocean. While the full skeleton of the shark is not available, body length estimates have been determined using the statistical association between the fossil teeth size of the Megalodon and the modern white shark's body mass and teeth.

The average length of an adult megalodon is around 33.5 ft (10.2 m). The largest megalodon would be 58.7 ft (17.9 m) long. However, studies show that the megalodon can grow up to 82 ft (25 m) in length. Females would be larger, reaching up to 56 ft (17 m), while males would only be at 47 ft (14 m).

Megalodon vs. blue whale, who is bigger? The average blue whale is two times bigger than the largest megalodon.

How fast could a megalodon swim?

According to researchers, the megalodon could swim at a speed of 11 mph (18 kph). In comparison, the lighter great white shark could only swim at speeds up to 47 mph (77 kph). According to this report, the Megalodon was the fastest swimmer in the ocean among sharks.

How much did a megalodon weigh?

Megalodons were heavyweights. These sharks had an adult body mass that ranged between 66,000- 143,000 lb (30,000-65,000 kg). Just like in length, female megalodons were twice as heavy as male megalodons. A megalodon size comparison with white sharks shows the white sharks being smaller, weighing between 1,500-4,000 lb (680-1,800 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names for male or female megalodons.

What would you call a baby megalodon?

A baby megalodon was known as a pup.

What did they eat? 

These sharks were the top predators of the ocean. Fish, baleen whales, toothed whales such as modern sperm and killer whales, dolphins, dugongs, manatees, seals, and other marine mammals would be eaten by the megalodon. Every day, the shark would consume at least 2,500 lb (1133.98 kg) of food.

The megalodon had a powerful bite. In some cases, a full megalodon tooth can be found in whale fossils. The megalodon is likely to have punctured the chest of large mammals while hunting. Its wide jaw and serrated teeth could tear through the ribs of any whale or shark easily. When it came to smaller prey, it is likely that the megalodon used its snout to stun them before ripping it apart.

Were they dangerous?

Extremely. The megalodon was the top predator in the food chain in the aquatic world. The megalodon's bite force ranged between 108,514-182,201 newtons, making it a dangerous predator. With its 276 serrated teeth, it could easily rend the flesh of huge creatures like whales.

Would they make a good pet?

No, it will not. The Megalodon was a large marine predator that lived in the world's oceans until it became extinct about 2.6 million years ago.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Megalodon is a Greek word that translates to 'big tooth'.

Megalodons and dinosaurs never coexisted.

The megalodon skeleton is made of soft cartilage.

The megalodon's mouth was approximately 10 ft (3.04 m) wide.

Why did the megalodon die out?

In natural history, the Megalodon was the largest shark that ever lived in the ocean. According to researchers, this mega-shark became extinct by the Pliocene epoch. Temperatures dropped dramatically during this period due to massive climatic change. As the world's climate deteriorated, it triggered a mass extinction of marine animals. The loss of prey for the top predators, including the megalodon, resulted from a decrease in the number of ocean mammals at the bottom of the food chain.

Not only did the megalodon suffer from a lack of prey, but the colder waters also had an effect on its habitat. Warm water was preferable for these sharks to live and breed in. In addition, the shark preferred to give birth in shallow waters near the shore. The natural nurseries of the megalodon shark were destroyed as ice accumulated and sea levels fell.

What other creatures were alive at the same time as the megalodon?

One of the creatures that lived alongside the megalodon was the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). In fact, modern great white sharks are thought to be one of the causes of the megalodon's extinction. As the great white shark population grew, it is possible that they encroached on the megalodon's habitat and competed with it for prey.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes from our bowhead whales facts and nurse sharks facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable thresher shark coloring pages.

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