Sharks! Sharks are one of the most feared animals living in the ocean. Megalodons were prehistoric sharks that lived millions of years ago. They were huge, fierce, predators. A megalodon’s jaw was over 7ft wide which is taller than NBA basketball players. They were up to 40,000 pounds and hunted whales and other large sea animals. Learn everything about these amazing ocean animals with these Megalodon Shark Facts for kids.
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What is a Megalodon?
The Megalodon is an extinct species of shark that live over 3 million years ago. They are believed to be the largest predator to ever live. hey became extinct around 2.6 million years ago. Extinct means that there are no longer any living members of the species.
Megalodon means big tooth. Its name comes from the combination of two Greek words, Megas meaning big, and odont meaning tooth.
How big was a Megalodon?
Megalodons were the largest known fish that ever lived.
Large fossil remains were found to suggest that the Megalodon was between 59 ft-70 ft long and weighed over 60 tons.
A Megalodon’s jaw may have been up to 7 ft across.
They are believed to have the most powerful bite, with a force of 24,000 to 40,000 pounds.
Due to the size and weight of the Megalodon, they had to eat over a ton of food a day.
Being at the top of the food chain they did not have to worry about predators.
The Megalodon’s teeth were very long, wide, and thick.
Fossils were found to show their teeth to be on average 4-5 ft long and 4 inches wide at the base, however, teeth over 7 inches long have been found. The largest Megalodon tooth to be found was in Peru and it was 7.48 inches long.
Finding Megalodon teeth is not as rare as you may think. They had 5 rows of over 270 teeth. Like other sharks, Megalodon’s teeth fell out as they grew, so pieces of their teeth often washed up onshore.
Finding a large full Megalodon tooth is much more uncommon. They can even be worth money to a collector.
The teeth of Megalodons and sharks were once believed to be the tips of dragon tongues that turned to stone when they were cut off. People called them “tongue stones”. It wasn’t until the late 1600s when the studies of a Danish scientist named Nicolaus Steno proved that they weren’t part of dragon tongues at all but were indeed shark teeth!
What did Megalodons Eat?
Megalodons were predators. They hunted and ate a variety of species of what including the Humpback, Blue and Sperm Whales, Sea Lions, dolphins, and Manatees.
Megalodons liked warm, deep waters. They lived in oceans all over the world. Megalodon fossils have been found on every continent except Antarctica.
It is believed that the temperatures of the water changed as the ice age set in causing the Megalodon’s food source to move more north. When the food moved, the megalodon didn’t have enough to eat. Scientists aren’t completely sure what caused the extinction of this great species. One theory blames climate and lack of food.
Megalodon Facts for Kids
Sharks do not have bones. Megalodons did not have any bones just cartilage.
The movie “The Meg” is based on a Megalodon Shark.
Megalodons never lived at the same time as dinosaurs.
Female megalodons were twice the size of males