ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

C. Megalodon - The World's Largest Sharks Ever

Updated on February 1, 2013

The megalodon is the world's largest shark ever, but you can relax because it is extinct.

It would have made the biggest great white shark ever look like a tadpole!

At up to a massive 98 feet long (30m), this big cousin of the great white shark was a fearsome creature that even movie-makers haven't dared to conjure up.

Scientists have put together fossils found the world over of this incredibly enormous shark, and through experimentation have worked out that the bite of the average-sized megalodon would have been 10 times more powerful than the biggest great white sharks we have in our oceans today.

Megalodon pups were 13 feet long when they were born!

The largest sharks that exist in the world today are whale sharks that can reach 42 feet (13m) in length, but which are harmless plankton eaters.

The megalodon, full name Carcharodon or Carcharocles megalodon, is referred to as simply C. megalodon, because scientists cannot agree on its true taxonomy.


When did the megalodon live?

The megalodon became extinct 1.6 million years ago.

It was believed that this giant shark lived in the world's oceans from 16 million years ago until almost 2 million years ago.

To put this into perspective, the dinosaurs died out 65.5 million years go, and human beings like ourselves only appeared 200,000 years ago.

So the megalodon shark lived in the period after the dinosaurs became extinct and before homo sapiens (us) appeared.

c. megalodon
c. megalodon | Source

Is the megalodon still alive today?

This is something that seems to trouble a lot of people, perhaps the nightmare scenario of coming face to face with one of these monsters while swimming in the sea.

While it is true that 70% of the world's oceans are as yet unexplored, it is extremely unlikely that the megalodon still exists in any of them.

The simple reason for that is because the parts of the oceans and seas which remain unexplored are the deep waters where man cannot yet go because of the intense water pressure.

The water temperature deep underwater is very cold, because sunlight cannot penetrate and, as we all know, heat rises, not sinks.

C. megalodon was known to prefer warmer waters.

reconstructed Megalodon jaws at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
reconstructed Megalodon jaws at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences | Source

Where were megalodon sharks found?

C. megalodon were to be found in all the warmer waters of the world, not forgetting that sea temperatures then were higher than they are today.

Fossilised remains of its teeth have been found in:

  • Europe
  • Africa
  • North and South America
  • southern Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Australia
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand

It is called a cosmopolitan species because they existed in such a widespread area, as shown by where their fossilised remains have been discovered.

[All sharks' bodies are made of cartilage, not bone, and this substance does not fossilize. We have cartilage in our joints, our noses and our earlobes, and while it is very strong and flexible, it generally does not calcify and turn into fossils.]

megalodon teeth and jaws at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
megalodon teeth and jaws at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science | Source

Why did the megalodon become extinct?

The world underwent terrific changes during the 15 million years that C. megalodon lived.

There were devastating earthquakes and volcanoes as the tectonic plates on the Earth's surface shifted and rammed into each other.

It was during this turbulent period that our continents moved into the positions they are in today.

The Rockies and the Andes mountain ranges were born during this era, and the isthmus at Panama appeared, separating the warm Pacific waters from the cooler Atlantic ocean.

Sea water levels rose by 200m (650 feet), and global weather patterns changed substantially. The temperature in equatorial regions dropped by 27οF (15οC).

Gradually, the megalodon found itself pushed into cooler waters without the necessary adaptations to survive that many other sharks have, including the great white, or they found themselves trapped in shallow waters as the levels receded.

Sharks have nursery grounds where they go to breed, and those sites are chosen because of their lack of predators.

The megalodon found itself without any safe place to go, and orcas (killer whales) fed off their pups.

A species that cannot reproduce cannot survive.

No-one knows for sure why the megalodon sharks died out, but it is thought to be a combination of those calamitous events that wiped out their ideal environment, and ultimately led to the demise of the species.

Megalodon tooth compared to that of the smaller great white shark
Megalodon tooth compared to that of the smaller great white shark | Source

Megalodon teeth

The fossil teeth of the megadolon are an average of 7" in length, and overall are the size of a man's hand.

Megalodons had rows of teeth, just like modern day sharks, which move up to replace any that are lost, so that the shark always has a mouthful of teeth at the ready.

Should you find any megalodon teeth in rocky formations, the greatest care should be taken not to damage it when removing it from surrounding rock.

There is a healthy collector's market in megalodon teeth, and you should be able to sell it on at a profit.

The bigger the tooth, the more valuable it becomes.

Damaged or repaired teeth do not appreciate in value, so take the greatest care with your megalodon tooth.

Megalodon shark's tooth

Megalodon facts

  • Megalodon sharks could swallow a horse whole.
  • It was bigger and heavier than a tyrannosaurus rex (though they didn't live at the same time).
  • It is the largest oceanic predator ever. Only the blue whale is bigger, but it is not a predator.
  • The name, megalodon, means 'big tooth'.
  • Its bite is more powerful than any other creature that has lived before or since.
  • The megalodon had an average of 276 teeth in his mouth at the same time.
  • The average adult was 60 feet long and weighed 77 tons.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      24 months ago

      Megladon still could exist i think because it could live were the deep ocean places are where now man can go because of the preassure

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      sharks are cool but sharks kill you

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love sharks and think that it is possible that if you breed 2 different types of sharks it is possible to create a megalodon , but it is also possible that they already still exist.

    • sharkfacts profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      The biggest type of shark in the world is the whale shark, that can reach over 40' in length - -Thankfully, they are not man-eaters, and are quite gentle creatures.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you I a presheat you being in my side and my class a presheat it to and I have one qwesten for you what is the biggest shark living today 4 H thankyou

    • sharkfacts profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      Gosh yes Amy, I have articles on it and we can only hope people start listening because the world's sharks are all becoming endangered.

      The other thing that is killing sharks is people using powdered shark cartilage as an alternative treatment for cancer. It doesn't work, but just how many sharks have died to produce the warehouses full of capsules for the mass market. It is just so wrong. Your class might want to discuss this too - it is on the US government's list of fake cures that people should avoid.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My class is learning about sharks and we wear wondering if you tell people if thay can stop making shark fin soop thank you 4H

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Any information on large sharks is interesting .

    • profile image


      7 years ago



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)