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Patterns the megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon) circulation during the Miocene and Pliocene dates can been estimated using the areas of built up fossil teeth.
Encyclopædia glossesweb.com, Inc./Kenny Chmielewski
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Understanding Megalodon
Megalodon to be the biggest shark, and likely the biggest fish, that ever before lived. An adult megalodon to be so large that no other pet in that is habitat intimidated it. Scientists analyzing its fossil teeth have been able to infer countless other things about megalodon’s life and lifestyle. Just how well perform you recognize one the the world’s most menacing creatures? (Every answer deserve to be uncovered in glossesweb.com’s article around megalodon.)

Physical features

Megalodon to be the biggest fish ever known, a designation based upon discoveries of hundreds of fossil teeth and also a handful of vertebrae. Tooth-shape similarities in between megalodon and also modern an excellent white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) suggest that the two types may have actually been nearby relatives, and also thus megalodon likely resembled that varieties in appearance—that is, together a bulky torpedo-shaped fish through a conical snout, big pectoral and dorsal fins, and a solid crescent-shaped tail. Estimates of body size are calculated utilizing the statistical relationship between the size of megalodon’s fossil teeth and also the teeth and also body massive of contemporary white sharks and also other living relatives. This data says that maturation adult megalodons had actually a mean length of 10.2 metres (about 33.5 feet), the biggest specimens measure up 17.9 metres (58.7 feet) long. Some scientists, however, contend that the largest develops may have actually measured approximately 25 metres (82 feet) long. Studies estimate that adult human body mass ranged from roughly 30 metric loads (1 metric ton = 1,000 kg; around 66,000 pounds) to more than 65 metric lots (about 143,000 pounds), adult females being bigger (in both length and mass) than adult males.


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Studies estimate that the body mass that adult megalodons (Carcharocles megalodon) ranged from approximately 30,000 kg (about 66,000 pounds) to an ext than 65,000 kg (about 143,000 pounds), adult females being larger (in both length and also mass) 보다 adult males. In contrast, most white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) weigh in between 680 and also 1,800 kg (1,500 and 4,000 pounds).

Megalodon teeth are comparable to those of contemporary white sharks in the they space triangular, serrated, and symmetrical. They different from modern white shark teeth in that they space larger and thicker, the serrations on every tooth happen in regular intervals, and also they own a bourlette (a darker, chevron-shaped an ar near the tooth’s root). The biggest extant megalodon tooth actions 17.8 cm (6.9 inches) in length, nearly three times longer than those of modern-day white sharks (which space typically about 5.4 cm <2.1 inches> long). In addition, megalodon possessed a ferocious bite; the bite diameter to be 3 metres (about 9.8 feet), several times bigger than the bite diameter the averaged-sized white sharks.


Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon) this (right), substantially larger 보다 the modern great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) this (left).

Megalodon is believed to have regulated its human body temperature in a manner similar to the of contemporary white sharks, in the it was not specifically cold-blooded like most fish. White sharks generate heat through the contraction of your swimming muscles, and also this warm raises the temperature of components of the shark’s body above that of the bordering water, one adaptation called regional endothermy (which is a kind of warm-bloodedness). This adaptation could have permitted megalodon to swim and also hunt in chillier waters, giving it exclusive accessibility to prey in those locations.

Reproduction and territoriality

Megalodon is thought to have created live young. That is no known, however, even if it is the types was ovoviviparous (in which eggs are retained within the mother until castle hatch) or viviparous (in which fertilized embryos derive constant nourishment indigenous the mother). Approximates of body size using youth teeth suggest that recently birthed young might have gone to least 2 metres (6.6 feet) in length.

Few details space known about megalodon courtship, however the types appears to have actually used nurseries because that its young. A 2010 study figured out a megalodon nursery follow me the Panamanian coast, which was identified by the existence of juvenile teeth from assorted stages that life. Scientists posit the this shallow warm-water nursery provided young megalodons with access to a diverse selection of smaller, more-abundant food and permitted adults to much better intercept assaults from various other predatory shark species, such together hammerhead sharks. Together the young sharks flourished older, that is thought that they would certainly make forays into deeper water come pursue larger animals.

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Little is known about how individuals spread after they matured. Due to the fact that megalodon is believed to have occupied an environmental niche similar to the of the white shark, part studies have assumed the megalodon likely ranged over locations comparable in size to the selection of modern white sharks—about 1,000 square kilometres (386 square miles).