Megalodon Shark Facts for Kids
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- 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.
- Large fossil remains found to suggest that the Megalodon was between 59 ft-70 ft long and weighed over 60 tons.
- They 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 works, megas meaning big and odont meaning tooth.
- The Megalodon’s teeth were very long, wide and thick.
- Fossils 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 on shore.
- Finding a large full Megalodon tooth is much more uncommon. They can even be worth money to a collector.
- 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.
- They hunted and ate a variety of species of what including the Humpback, Blue and Sperm Whales, Sea Lions and Manatees.
- Scientists aren’t completely sure what caused the extinction of this great species. One theory blames climate and lack of food.
- Megalodon’s liked warm, deep waters. It is believed that as the temperatures of the water changed as the ice age set in, their food source moved North, causing a lack of food to survive on.
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 1600’s 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!
The movie “The Meg” is based on a Megalodon Shark