15 Megalodon Facts for Kids
1. Dinosaurs have always gleaned our interest because there are so many unanswered questions. There are many different theories as to what happened to these giants that once walked the earth freely but there is no hard evidence that can actually say what exactly happened to the dinosaurs.
2. Is it possible that not all of the animals of the prehistoric error are extinct? That is the question that is being asked about the Megladon. There have been hunts for the Megladon or a very close relative in the last few years by scientist and thrill seekers that believe that there is a chance that this giant of the sea is still very much alive.
3. The Megladon is a prehistoric shark. It was about 8 times larger than a great white and the most vicious predator in the ocean. It was a mammoth of the sea. It was a ferocious predator that was extremely powerful.
4. Megladon means “large tooth” and the Megladon certainly earned the name. The tooth of the Megladon was 7 inches long and it had plenty of them. Like all sharks, Megladon’s teeth were constantly shed and grew back. They could easily have lost and regrew hundreds of teeth throughout their lifetime.
5. These giant teeth have been found all over the world. They were nicknamed “tongue stones” back in the 17th century. Their teeth were not the only thing that was super-sized on this ancient shark. They could grow up to lengths of 60 feet.
6. Great Whites the next largest shark grows up to about 13 feet to give you an idea exactly how big the Megladon was. A joint research project was done in 2008 that determined that a Megladon given the size of its jaws and its weight very likely could crush the skull of a prehistoric whale with one bite. It was estimated that they had over 18 tons of pressure in a single bite. A lion has 600 pounds of pressure in its bite. It is enough pressure to easily tear through ships made of steel.
7. There is simply nothing on earth right now that can compare to the massive power of this prehistoric shark. Its closest living relative today is the Great White Shark.
8. There is some evidence that the Megladon had an unusual hunting style. Their primary prey was prehistoric whales and unlike their modern day counterparts that will attack exposed soft tissue the Megladon would tear off the whale’s fins rendering it unable to swim, than eat it.
9. The Megladon was an apex predator which means that while they did feast on whales they were not picky when it came to a food source. They would eat giant sea turtles, with the turtles shell being a non-issue to them, they ate squid and just about anything else they came across.
10. Scientists believe that the Megladon was an avid hunter and that they would eat anything that crossed its path.
11. The Megladon for all intents and purposes had absolutely no reason to become extinct because all of the conditions that typically predate an extinction of a species did not exist for the Megladon. Its habitat was not lost. It was not over hunted. There was not an increase in their natural predators yet most scientists would agree that the Megladon has been extinct for millions of years.
So What Happened?
12. Many of the theories that point to why the land dinosaurs disappeared just do not fit when it comes to the animals of the ocean at the time. The Megladon was a large predator in the ocean, having no natural enemies. It clearly traveled around the globe in many different climates because its fossils have been found in all the oceans.
13. Given that information the question remains ‘what happened to the Megladon?’ The answer some scientists believe is simple a deconstructed type of evolution. While most animals adapt by getting bigger and stronger (although not all) the Megladon may have simply evolved in the opposite direction. It got smaller with time. Many scientists believe that once the prehistoric sharks disappeared that the Megladon was not able to sustain on the other fish in the oceans.
14. A small handful of scientist believe that the there may be Megladon’s living deep in the ocean that has yet to be explored. Others yet propose that the Megladon simply ran out of food. A creature that size would require prey of substantial size as things started changing and evolving the food sources became scarce and they eventually died out.
15. Was the loss of the prehistoric whale enough to render this species extinct? Could it not have gotten by on another diet? The question is one that will continue to perplex scientists into the next generation.