5 FACTS ABOUT THE MEGALODON
Cape Clasp is on a mission to #makewaves for marine life causes, and that includes spreading awareness about our ocean friends! Today, we're taking a look at the prehistoric megalodon.
THE "MEG" RULED THE SEA FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS
Fossils associated with the infamous megalodon show that the predator existed up to 23 million years ago and even more recently during the Pliocene Epoch, which was 2.6 million years ago 🤯 Due to incomplete fossil records, the exact extinction date is unknown. However, it's believed that they went extinct long before humans evolved.
THEY WERE THE LARGEST SHARKS (AND FISH) TO EVER EXIST
Despite insufficient fossil data, the megalodon's teeth have helped scientists determine its classification and size. Evidence shows that the megalodon was up to 3 times as long as the modern great white shark 🦈 The largest megalodons were about 50 feet long and weighed up to 50 tons - comparable to the size/weight of a railroad car 🚃
THEY WERE WORLD EXPLORERS
Megalodon teeth have been found on every continent other than Antarctica 🌎 Their teeth are most common along the East Coast of North America. They are also prevalent on the coasts of Morrocco and Australia. Like dinosaurs, megalodons preferred warmth, which meant they stuck to shallow waters while hunting their prey 🌊
THEY HAD A MEG-A APPETITE (AND BITE)
The megalodons mainly ate large mammals, including whales, dolphins, dugongs, and seals. They even ate sizable turtles and fish 🍽️ While eating they made use of their 276 teeth arranged in rows, allowing them to be shed once worn out and replaced with sharper ones 😬 Evidence suggests that they had the most powerful bite of any animal.
THEY REMAIN A MYSTERY TO THIS DAY
Similar to other sharks, the megalodon's skeleton mainly consisted of cartilage, which doesn't preserve well. Scientists have still been able to study them using their teeth and vertebrae. However, with limited fossils, there is still a lot that's unknown about the megalodon 🧐 To this day, there is an ongoing debate about the megalodon's closest relatives 🦈
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