Megalodon, The Oceans Mafia Boss and Largest Fish

The Scientific name of this monster is Carcharocles megalodon. The name comes from the Greek language which literally means “Giant Tooth.” Although most adult Megalodon teeth fall within the 4-5 “range, a few enormous, fossil teeth have been found to reach 7” The largest verifiable tooth is a 7.48 ” tooth found near Ocucaje, Peru. Contrast this to the Great White shark whose teeth had reached a maximum size of less than 3 inches in the biggest individuals. Reconstructions of the Sharks jaw indicate that they could have been up to 7 feet.

Megalodon Geek Impulse
Largest verifiable Megalodon tooth at 7.48″ long. Photo credit Craig Sundell

Its been suggested that the Ocean Mafia Boss was a top-of-the-food-chain predator. It fed on other big marine mammals, like whales and dolphins. It may have even eaten other sharks. Researchers think the large predator would first attack the flipper and tails of the mammals to prevent them from swimming away, then go in for the kill, according to the BBC. The megalodon’s 276 serrated teeth were the perfect tool for ripping flesh. 

Megalodon co-evolved with whales as a principal food source, As mammals, whales had the ability to thermoregulate and migrate toward colder waters of the poles. While the exact thermoregulatory capabilities are a topic of current study, inability to hunt whales in colder water is believed to be one of the leading causes of megalodon extinction.

Marty Becker, a William Paterson University Professor of environmental science who studies shark paleontology (Livescience)

It’s thought that Large Fish ate 2,500 pounds of food per day.  Fossil remains of the beast have been found off the coast of every continent except Antarctica. Between 2007 and 2009, researchers collected a number of juvenile fossil teeth in the waters off the coast of Panama. They believe this was an ancient nursery area.

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