Evidence for the existence of a giant predator in the ocean about 20 million years ago has been found in several places on Earth. These giants had been in control of the ocean for 13 million years.
This giant predator is a species of shark that is reported to have become extinct about 3.5 million years ago.
They are also considered to be the largest sharks ever to live in the world. The Megalodon shark is the largest species of fish on Earth, according to researchers. Whales and blue whales, no matter how large, are mammals and do not belong to the genus Fish.
Megalodon means Large Tooth in Greek. Megalodon sharks are estimated to be between 15 and 18 meters in length. Thus, the length of the Megalodon shark is about three times that of the largest Great White shark found today.
Distribution of Megalodon sharks
Distribution of these sharks during the Middle Miocene, from the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the California offshore Sea to the South Australian Sea, the Northern Europe Coast, the South American Coast, the South African Sea, and the Northeast Sea. The fossils of the Megalodon sharks are thought to have been found over a large area.
By the Pliocene, the vast expanse of these giants had shrunk and is thought to have become extinct by the end of the era.
Many fossils of Megalodon sharks have been found in the shallow seas of the tropics. This shows that these sharks are species of fish that lived in the shallow sea.
This fossil has been found near all the continents except Antarctica. In the waters near the state of Peru, a skull with all the teeth of a Megalodon shark and a fossil with a small part of the spine were found.
The Megalodon shark’s tooth grows to 5 to 7 inches in size. One shark has about 250 teeth in its mouth. These teeth fall out of the mouth every week or two, and about 40,000 teeth grow back in the same way over the life of a Megalodon shark.
250 teeth in the mouth of one shark
This is why the teeth of Megalodon sharks are so easily found. Megalodon resembles the tooth of a Great White shark in shape. It has been hypothesized that the body structure of the Megalodon shark is similar to that of the Great White shark, with similarity in the pattern of these teeth.
A well-grown male Megalodon is 47 feet long and weighs about 30 metric tons. A well-grown female fish can grow up to 60 feet and weigh about 65 metric tons.
The females of these sharks are always larger and weight than the males.
When the Megalodon shark opens its mouth, it is proven that a single human can stand in it without difficulty. The Megalodon shark also has a mouth large enough to swallow an Asian elephant.
Between 1,500 and 3,000 pounds of food a day
These giant predators need between 1,500 and 3,000 pounds of food a day. They feed on whales, dolphins, humpback whales, other large fish, large archillon turtles, and sometimes other shark species. Large toothpicks in the bones of some fossilized whales have found evidence that Megalodon sharks hunted whales.
Megalodon puts about 40,000 pounds of bite force into a shark bite. Great White Shark puts about 40,000 pounds of bite force. This is about 70 pounds of power when taken by a human. Megalodon is a giant whale that can be easily bitten by a single bite of a shark.
Although the distribution of Megalodon sharks increased rapidly during the Miocene, it is thought that the Megalodon population declined during the Pliocene. Scientists initially concluded that climate change was due to changes in ocean temperatures and changes in the oceans that occurred about 3 million years ago, causing the Megalodon population to decline. Studies conducted in 2016 revealed that Megalodon distribution increased during hot weather and did not decrease during cold seasons.
Causes of the biggest Megalodon extinction
This extinction is not only dependent on climate change, but also increased the number of food competitors, according to the study. For example, the increase in populations of other predators such as the Great White Shark and the Killer Whales (Orca whales), as well as a decrease in primitive food sources such as balin whales and increased competition for food, have led to the extinction of the Megalodon sharks. These are the conclusions reached by the researchers.
Some believe that these giant sharks are not really extinct. Some say that Megalodon sharks still live in the deep sea. Studies have shown that Megalodons are a species of shark that is accustomed to living in the shallow sea, so they have no chance of surviving in the deep sea.
Megalodon sharks, accustomed to living in tropical oceans, cannot survive in the cold waters of the deep sea. Many of their prey, even large fish, are found in the shallow seas. Therefore, scientists say that these giant Megalodon sharks have no chance of living in the deep sea without being noticed by humans.
Cover image - A photo of a computer generated megalodon shark - australiangeographic.com.au