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NATIONAL MEGALODON DAY
NATIONAL MEGALODON DAY
On the 15th of June, National Megalodon Day teaches us about the most massive shark that ever lived!
The Megalodon swam the Earth’s oceans for 20 million years during the Cenozoic Era. Their mouths spanned 8 to 11 feet wide and were filled with rows of sharp teeth. With a bite force of over 40,000 pounds per square inch, a maximum weight of over 60 tons, and serrated teeth measuring near 7 inches, their prey did not stand a chance.
Megalodon’s dentition consisted of 276 serrated teeth.
They also had up to 6 rows of teeth called files.
Megalodon ruled their watery habitats, eating large marine vertebrates. The phosphate deposits currently mined near Aurora, North Carolina (also known as Lee Creek), produce some of the finest and well-preserved examples of fossilized Megalodon teeth in the world. Numerous other Miocene and Pliocene aged fossils, including the whales Megalodon hunted, are also found along with the Megalodon’s magnificent teeth.
Dentition describes the typical arrangement, development, number, and kind of teeth in a species’ mouth at any given age.
Teeth help identify a fossil and are of particular interest where the Megalodon is concerned.
At the end of their era, the Megalodon grew to enormous sizes and dominated the oceans. Food was likely plentiful. As the Ice Age came, however, competition for survival may have become fierce. Their prey began to dwindle, and other species, like carnivorous whales, put up a good fight. It is also possible that the rise of its rival, the modern-day Great White Shark, was the catalyst for Megalodon’s extinction. Due to Megalodon’s large size, it could have been out-competed by the smaller, faster Great White Shark.
Based on tooth size, the Megalodon Shark grew to 60 feet in length which is longer than a school bus!
The Megalodon disappeared from the fossil record near the end of the Pliocene Epoch (some 3.6 to 2.58 million years ago), and when it did, amazing things began to happen. The fossil record and modern history show that whales and other sea animals grew larger. Without the mega predator, perhaps favorable conditions permitted survival long enough to thrive and grow to their larger sizes.
What does all this mean for today’s sea life? Will another predator grow to dominate the seas? Or has the Megalodon’s time come and gone, leaving behind only a fossil record for us to explore? Celebrate and explore National Megalodon Day to learn more!
Anyone seen the movie?