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10 Colossal Facts About Megalodon Sharks That Will Leave You Stunned!

6. Megalodon pups were born 2 to 4 meters in size (6.6.ft – 13.1ft) at birth.

Megalodon size scale
Size comparison between Megalodon, Whale Shark, Great White shark and human. Image source: wikipedia

Megalodon gave birth to live sharks and the size (2-4 meters) has been indicated by the size of neonate Megalodon teeth. Young Megalodon preyed on fish, sea turtles, dugongs, and small cetaceans. Occasionally juvenile Megalodon would attack much larger prey. Teeth marks from a 4-7 meter (13.1–23.0 ft) shark were found on a rib from an ancestral great blue or humpback whale. Scientist believe that shark was a infant Megalodon.(source)

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7. A Great White Shark is about the size of a Megalodon’s penis.

megalodon vs great white shark
Megalodon vs great white shark. Image source: therichestimages.com

Peter Klimley a shark expert at the University of California at Davis stated that “A great white is about the size of the clasper, or penis, of a male Megalodon.”

Scientists have had trouble estimating the size of the Megalodon due to mostly only finding fossils of their teeth and vertebrate, but researches have concluded that the Megalodon is larger than the whale shark.

In 1990 marine biologists, Patrick J. Schembri and Staphon Papson suggested that the Megalodon may have approached a maximum of 24 to 25 metres (79 to 82 ft) in length, but as of present most experts acknowledge Megalodon reached a total length of about 16 meters (52 ft).(source)

8. There are 3 main theories about why the Megalodon are now extinct.

Oceanic Cooling: This first theory suggests that accelerated changes in global circulation caused by the closure of the Central American Seaway (along with possible other factors such as Pliocene climate) set the stage for the build of of glaciers in the northern hemisphere consequently creating Ice Ages which cooled the oceans substantially. The Megalodon preferred warmer water so this may have impacted their resulted and eventual demise.

Decline in Food Supply: By the end of the Miocene many species that the Megalodon relied on for sustenance became extinct. Also the closure of the Central American Seaway caused further extinctions as well as cause faunal redistribution. This resulted in decreased diversity and abundance of great whales suggesting that most surviving species headed towards polar regions.

New Competition: This last theory is one of the least popular. It suggests that the emergence of raptorial killer whales contributed to the demise of the Megalodon. Fossil records show that the ancient whales could survive the new cold climates thus outlasting the mega tooth sharks.(source)

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9. Megalodon fossils have been found all over the world including areas that are far away from continental land.

Megalodon fossils
Image source: www.fossilera.com

Megalodon likely had a significant impression on the structure of marine communities. Fossilized remains suggest that the Megalodon roamed many territories around the world. Being at the top of the food chain meant that the Megalodon sharks technically lived in a world without any boundaries, although adult Megalodon sharks preferred areas where large Cetaceans were plentiful and the pups preferred the opposite.

Fossil findings affirm that the Megalodon had a cosmopolitan distribution. Fossils have been dug up all over the world in places such as Europe, Africa and both North and South America, as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Canary Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malta, Grenadines, and India.

Fossils have also been found distant from continental lands, such as the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.(source)

10. The Megalodon’s bite force could have crushed a small car.

Megalodon bite force
Depiction of Megalodon by Chris Bennier

Stephen Wroe of the University of New South Wales in Australia and his colleagues estimated the bite force of a Megalodon by using data they collected by great whites. The team developed a computer generated model of a great whites skull, jaw, and head muscles from images generated by a CT (computer tomography) scanner. They then ran simulations to view the stresses, strains, and strength of its bite.

The team concluded that a great white could generate a maximum bite force of about 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms). Because of the size of the Megalodon they estimated that it might have chomped down on prey with a force of between 24,000 to 40,000 pounds (10,900 to 18,100 kilograms).(source)

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