The Megalodon, a much larger and scarier version of the Great White Shark, was the largest meat-eating fish that ever lived. These creatures existed about 20 million years ago and went extinct about two million years ago.
When sharks die, their skeleton falls apart because it is made of cartilage, the same substance of which gamma ears consist. So, the only fossils that exist of the Megalodon today are their teeth and bony segments of their spine, called centra. These fossils, combined with observations of modern sharks, have helped scientists discover interesting facts about the Megalodon.
Megalodons lived in warm waters in the United States, Japan, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Their fossils have been found all over the world. In 2009, scientists even discovered a Megalodon nursery in Panama that contained fossilized teeth of Megalodon babies.
Baby Megalodons could grow up to 20 feet long, which is as long as an adult Great White Shark. Adult Megalodons were usually about 45-60 feet long, and they had 46 front row teeth. Because most sharks only have six rows of teeth, scientists think that the Megalodon had about 276 teeth all together in a mouth over seven feet wide.
Megalodons ate whales, sea lions, walruses, and other large marine mammals and fish. They were were so strong that they could crush a whale’s skull as easily as a human can eat a piece of cake.
Even though Megalodons are extinct, it is still important to learn about them. They are very cool animals and you just might like them and think they are cool, too.