The Big Tooth, Megalodon
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The Big Tooth, Megalodon

Megalodon is an extinct species of giant shark that terrorized EarthÂ’s oceans from 28 to 1.5 million years ago. Megalodon is one of the largest and most ferocious predators to ever exist on this planet.

Megalodon is an extinct species of giant shark that terrorized Earth’s oceans from 28 to 1.5 million years ago. Megalodon is one of the largest and most ferocious predators to ever exist on this planet.

A Megalodon fossil was one of the first dinosaur fossils ever found; it was found during the Renaissance age. As people during the Renaissance age did not know of prehistoric animals, they believed that the Megalodon fossil belonged to a giant sea serpent or a dragon. In 1667, Danish naturalist Nicolaus Steno proved that the fossil belonged to a shark not a mythical creature. In 1843, Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz gave Megalodon its name. Megalodon is Greek for “Big Tooth”.

The Megalodon is the biggest fish to ever exist on Earth. When full grown they reached lengths of 50-70 feet long and weighed 60-105 tons; they were the size of a very large whale. Their teeth were large, usually reaching 7-8 inches long. Their jaws were powerful and scientists believe they were about ten times stronger than the jaws of a Tyrannosaurs Rex. The Megalodon looked very much like the Great White shark of today, just much larger and stouter. Despite their great size, they were also able to move with the swiftness and agility of today’s much smaller sharks.

Megalodon was not just an apex predator; they were at the absolute top of the food chain in the ocean. Nothing in the ocean could match their speed and aggression. When young they preyed on large fish, giant sea turtles, dolphins, sea lions, porpoises, and small whales. As adults, most ocean life was too small for them to bother hunting and so the hunted the only prey in the ocean that could fill their vast appetites, large whales. Sperm whales, humpback whales, bowhead whales, and other large prehistoric whales were all prey to the Megalodon. They were also cannibalistic when food was scare, the larger and stronger devouring the weaker and smaller. The only predator a Megalodon had to fear was another larger or healthier Megalodon. 

While they lived, the Megalodon was master of the ocean, they feared nothing and all feared them. However, like all the dinosaurs that once graced this planet they evolved into smaller or different species or died out. Perhaps, the megalodon still lives today, in the much smaller Great White shark or one of the other shark species. Or perhaps, like many of the dinosaurs, they completely died out, leaving only their bones for us to marvel at.

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