Megalodon Facts – Who doesn’t know Megalodon? This giant ancient shark doesn’t have to be the star of the Jurassic Park franchise to be famous.
Megalodon, as the name implies, was distinguished by its gigantic size. Older Megalodon can grow to a length of 18 meters, the equivalent of three tourist buses lined up lengthwise.
With this giant size, the Megalogon shark also has a giant weight. Megalodon can have a body weight of up to 50 tons, or the equivalent of ten times the weight of an elephant.
Megalodon Facts: Megalodon’s teeth were mistaken for a dragon’s tongue
Megalodon’s teeth were large for the size of an older persons’s palm. Because in ancient times people did not know ancient animal, and no other animal has teeth that big, many mistook the giant teeth they found on the ground to be magical objects.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, before researchers connected Megalodon’s teeth with modern shark teeth, they thought the pointed stone was the tip of a dragon’s tongue. Meanwhile, according to Smithsonian Magazine, in the 17th century, Megalodon tooth fossils were believed to have medicinal properties and people hunted them because they were considered good luck charms.
The reason why Megalodon’s teeth are so easy to find is because one Megalodon individual has many teeth, while losing many teeth. In total, during their lifetime, Megalodon can remove 40,000 of their teeth, which millions are later used as souvenirs by humans
Megalodon Facts: Have the strongest biting power
Megalodon’s bite was estimated to be six times stronger than that of Tyrannosaurus Rex. According to the Natural History Museum, the estimated bite of Megalodon is between 108,514 and 182,201 Newtons. That much power allowed Megalodon to chew on whales and other large fish. For comparison, the bite of a great white shark is only 18,210 Newtons and humans 1,317 Newtons.
Megalodon Facts: Megalodon isn’t the only giant sea predator
Megalodon lived between 20 million to 3.6 million years ago or during the Miocene to Pliocene period. During the Miocene, Megalodon lived together with another giant sea predator, Leviathan. This Leviathan also has a size of up to 18 meters.
Cannibal Megalodon baby while still in the womb
Even before they ruled the oceans, baby Megalodon had shown its ferocity while still in the womb. Researchers suspect, to ensure its survival, baby Megalodon has eaten its sibling.
This is because each embryo will grow bigger and need more space. By eating their siblings, they can provide more space and grow to reach 2 meters when they are born.
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Megalodon Facts: Climate change makes Megalodon extinct
There are several factors why this marine predator remains in history. The first hypothesis is competition with white sharks. Great white sharks also appeared about 20 million years ago. They are both at the top of the food pyramid. When their food sources such as whales, dolphins, are getting less, the competition is getting tougher. So Megalodon, which has a large size and needs more food, starves and is eliminated from the ecosystem.
Another factor is the cold Earth when 3 million years ago made Megalodon’s habitat increasingly limited. Ocean temperatures also cooled, resulting in changing ocean currents, and further limiting the hunting ground for Megalodon.