Stay Out of the Water: Does a Prehistoric Shark Still Live in the Ocean?

There is said to be a shark that is scarier than the one from the movie Jaws which is as large as the biggest whale. But this isn’t a monster from a sci-fi movie, it’s real. This kind of shark lived in the oceans thousands of years ago and it’s possible that it still lives in the deepest waters even today.

Specialists call the ancient shark Carcharodon megalodon or Carchalocles megalodon. It’s official name in literature is C. megalodon. This shark’s monstrous jaws were much bigger than the length of a human body. If it hunted humans, we would have been like small fish for it. Megalodon was perhaps the biggest hunter in the oceans and seas. Its name comes from Greek and means ”big tooth”.

Man sitting on Carcharodon megalodon jaws. Restoration of fossil shark. Carcharodon megalodon. Basal Miocene South Carolina.

Man sitting on Carcharodon megalodon jaws. Restoration of fossil shark. Carcharodon megalodon. Basal Miocene South Carolina. ( Public Domain )

Jaws Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $8.72 (as of 08:25 EST - Details) The gigantic shark lived about 23 to 2.6 million years ago, since the early Miocene to the end of the Pliocene period. Researchers suggest that it was a cruel hunter which needed to eat more than any other animal of the Cenozoic Era.

A Shark Which Was a Real Monster

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Fossils of megalodon have discovered in many parts of the world, for example, Cuba, Jamaica, Australia, Puerto Rico, Malta, India, Canary Islands, Denmark, and Antwerp in Belgium. A fossil of its jaw discovered in North Carolina, USA has shown how impressive and horrific the animal was. According to Patrick J. Schembri and Stephen Papson, the megalodon was around 24-25 meters (79 – 82 ft) long. However, it is usually said that it wasn’t bigger than 18 meters (59 ft). Different teams of researchers also conclude that it could have been a little bit smaller or bigger than these measurements.

Size comparison of Carcharodon carcharias (Great White Shark, 5.2m (17.1 ft.)), Rhincodon typus (Whale Shark, 9.7m (31.8 ft.)) and Sharknado Triple Feature Best Price: $3.38 Buy New $7.99 (as of 05:50 EST - Details) conservative/maximum estimates of the largest known adult size of Carcharodon megalodon (15-20m (49.2-65.6 ft.)), with a human (1.8m (5.9 ft.)). (Scarlet23/CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Nevertheless, the largest known megalodon specimen had a tooth which was 184.1 millimeters (7.25 in) in length. The bite force of the megalodon was at least six times stronger than that of a great white shark.

Megalodon was also very heavy. An analysis of about 175 discovered specimens suggests that they could have been between 48 metric tons to 103 metric tons. Its jaws were not only huge but also very dangerous. The megalodon had to eat tons of fish per day – making it one of the greatest killers in the history of the Earth.

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