By Chelsea Reed
Hands down, the megalodon is the largest and toughest creature that ever lived. This prehistoric shark has captured the minds of people around the world. It’s even famous in Hollywood! In 2018, a popular movie came out called “The Meg.” This sci-fi thriller was all about the sheer might and terror of the megalodon if it were alive today. In real life, the megalodon is extinct and probably wouldn’t be that monstrous. But it’s still big - and just as awesome!
Did you know that the name Megalodon means “large tooth?” Scientists discovered that the megalodon was probably 33 feet long. It had 276 huge, sharp teeth! Like other sharks, a megalodon had rows of teeth that would shed as they grew or broke off. The largest fossilized megalodon teeth are 7 inches long. They were perfect for hunting prey and tearing flesh. In Medieval Europe, people thought these fossilized teeth were petrified serpent tongues and called them “tongue stones.” They are found in every continent in the world except Antarctica.
Those megalodon teeth came with amazing jaws. The force of a megalodon’s bite could be anywhere between 10 and 18 tons of crushing pressure. That’s 10 to 20 times more powerful than a Great White shark! A megalodon’s jaws were big enough to swallow two adult humans whole, but its real diet was whales and other sharks. Many scientists agree that the megalodon was the most powerful predator in its time. If a megalodon and a mosasaur got into a fight, the megalodon would likely win.
Warm, shallow waters of the ancient ocean were the perfect home for the megalodon. Its mighty reign on top of the food chain lasted all the way until the Ice Age! Finally, the megalodon’s empire ended when the waters were too cold for it to follow whales and other prey. Scientists think that the megalodon either starved or froze into extinction.
Even though it’s extinct, the megalodon continues to be a popular phenomenon! Michael’s Gems and Glass has fascinating fossil specimens in our store, including megalodon teeth. Contact us for more information!
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes online content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina.