Carcharodon megalodon (C. megalodon) Facts

Carcharodon megalodon (C. megalodon) Facts
C. megalodon, also known as "megatooth shark", is the largest shark that ever lived on the planet. It was numerous and widespread during Cenozoic era (15.9 to 2.6 million years ago) in the warm waters all over the world. C. megalodon became extinct two to three million years ago probably due to sudden drop in the water temperature and lack of food (large whales had migrated toward the cooler areas).
Interesting Carcharodon megalodon (C. megalodon) Facts:
C. megalodon was 50 to 70 feet long and it had 100 tons of weight.
Even juvenile C. megalodon sharks were bigger than adult great white sharks.
C. megalodon and great white shark have lived in the ocean at the same time, which suggests that C. megalodon probably isn't the ancestor of great white shark. Similar morphology of these two species is probably the result of convergent evolution.
C. megalodon is just one of many prehistoric species of giant sharks that once lived in the ocean.
C. megalodon had 5 rows of approximately 270 large, serrated, sharp teeth. Individual teeth were triangular, 4 inches wide at the base and 7 inches long. Hence the scientific name "big tooth".
Reconstructed jaws of C. megalodon are 11 feet wide and 9 feet tall (large enough to swallow the school bus).
Team of Australian and American scientists discovered that bite force of C. megalodon was 10.8 to 18.2 tons per square inch, which is 10 times stronger than a bite force of great white shark.
C. megalodon was a carnivore whose diet was based on various species of large whales, dolphins, manatees, seals, sea lions, giant sea turtles and other sharks.
C. megalodon had probably hunted whales by biting off their fins and tail flukes to prevent their escape.
C. megalodon was the biggest predator in the ocean. It was replaced with killer whale that can kill even the great white shark.
C. megalodon was ovoviviparous species (eggs develop inside the female's body). Nursing areas were located near the coast, in the warmer and safer waters.
Like in modern sharks, skeleton of C. megalodon was made of cartilage that quickly disintegrates after death. Most facts about C. megalodon are based on thousands of teeth and few spinal columns that have been found so far.
Until 1667, people used to believe that tooth of C. megalodon is actually tip of dragon's tongue. Teeth were often used to cure poisonings and snake bites, and worn as good luck charms. Danish naturalist Nicolas Steno discovered true nature of these fossils in the 17th century.
C. megalodon is portrayed in many science fiction books, novels and movies.
Some people believe that C. megalodon still exists in the ocean, however all teeth found so far are very old (at least few thousand years old).

Related Links:
Extinct Animals Facts
Animals Facts