|“||Living out there is something really terrifying. The most lethal shark that the world has ever seen –– the prehistoric shark, Megalodon, the biggest carnivorous fish that's ever lived. And I don't think I need to explain why.||„|
|— Allen, describing Megalodon|
Megalodon (name meaning "Big Tooth"), or simply the Meg for short, is a genus of enormous prehistoric shark that originated during the Late Oligocene epoch in every ocean on Earth. Measuring over 23 meters in length, weighing more than 70 tons, and essentially a giant great white shark, Megalodon was the largest shark that ever existed as well as the largest carnivorous animal of all time. Famous for its huge teeth, Megalodon has become some of the world's most popular prehistoric creatures.
In the Series 3 episode "The Meg Jaws", a single female Megalodon, named Meg, was brought back from Miocene Peru of 15 million years ago. She resides in an enormous showroom tank in the marine exhibit.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Megalodon lived during the Late Oligocene to the Early Pleistocene from 23 – 2 million years ago. The apex predator of the seas during its day, these sharks roamed every ocean on the planet. Their extinction was caused by Ice Age climate changes. As the Ice Age began, the whale's Megalodon preyed on migrated to colder waters, where the shark could not follow. As a result, Megalodon was doomed into extinction by hunger.
Megalodon was first discovered by Louis Agassiz in 1843. Since then, fossilized teeth of Megalodon have been found around the world. From their distribution, it is possible to see that Megalodon preferred tropical and temperate seas, and did not stray into cold waters. It could, however, live many kilometers from the coast in the open ocean. Other than its teeth, few parts of its body are known. However, some paleontologists and other scientists believe that Megalodon could still be alive today in the 21st century, surviving in deep waters. Additionally, Megalodon has also become some of the most famous prehistoric creatures in the world.
Physical AttributesEditThe largest predatory fish ever discovered, Megalodon was the largest shark ever to roam the seas, larger than a whale shark, and rivaled, even surpassed, the size of theropod dinosaurs like Giganotosaurus and even Tyrannosaurus as well as other giant sea monsters, such as Liopleurodon, Basilosaurus, and even Tylosaurus. On average, Megalodon measured over 50 – 60 feet (15 – 18 m) long and weighed more than 50 – 60 tons (100,000 – 120,000 lbs.) However, some rare colossal specimens have been discovered to have grown in excess of between 70 – 100 feet (21 – 30 m) in length and weighed as much as 70 – 150 tons (154,000–330,000 lbs.) This makes Megalodon the largest carnivorous animal that ever lived on Planet Earth.
Megalodon were basically gigantic great white sharks, therefore being an ancestor to the great white. As such, they had the same overall physical appearance; a streamlined, muscular body with a tall dorsal fin, large pectoral fins, and a large and powerful caudal fin but its anal fins were small; darker grey colored skin on top and lighter colored, or white, skin on the bottom (most likely to serve as camouflage), only they were well over three to five times the size. By the time an adolescent Megalodon reached three years of age, they could have measured just over 20 feet (6.1 m) long and weighed at least 3 tons (6,000 lbs.). Full-grown Megalodon grew over 20 times the weight of juveniles.
Megalodon was an immensely powerful predator, capable of making high-speed attack runs. Its mouth could open to around 10 feet (3 m) wide, revealing a set of giant, sharp, serrated teeth that measured at least 7 inches long within a pair of massive jaws could deliver a crippling bite. Megalodon was estimated to have a bite force of around 20 tons (40,000 lbf), more than powerful enough to slice, bite, and cut through the toughest flesh and bone. In other words, Megalodon had the most powerful bite force in all of the animal kingdom.
Weaponry & CapabilitiesEdit
- Jaws: Megalodon possesses massively powerful jaws and enormous jaw strength. With a bite force of 40,000 pounds PSI, it can bite through the toughest bone of any animal.
- Senses: Megalodon can sense prey from 3 miles away.
- Speed: Despite their large size, Megalodon is amazingly fast, able to swim 25 to 30 knots.
- Strength: Due to its enormous size, Megalodon possesses tremendously powerful physical strength, enough so to ram through underwater boulders and even throw a whale.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Megalodon were solitary animals as they were large enough to hunt game independently. As essentially giant great white sharks, Megalodon behaved the same way. For instance, much like young great whites, juvenile Megalodon preferred to live in shallow waters closer to shore and away from adults, who hunted large prey in the open oceans. While it was partially for their own safety, they also fed on different and smaller species of prey. Megalodon juveniles were not large enough to attack the large whales. Their teeth are usually found in shallow waters, suggesting that they lived inshore. There, they mainly hunted large fish and smaller marine mammals, such as Odobenocetops. A fully grown Megalodon would hunt larger whales, even ones the size of a blue whale. Megalodon preyed on the dolphins and large whales that lived in deep offshore waters. It would cruise around, waiting for one of them to surface.
But whether juveniles or adults, Megalodon had the same hunting strategies as modern great white sharks. Once they locked onto their prey, because they didn't want their prey to attack them back, these giant and powerful sharks would come up from underneath their prey, swimming vertically upwards at speed. At the last moment, the giant jaws would open and the teeth would be rammed into the prey, tearing out large chunks of its flesh and landing devastating attacks. As relatives of great white sharks, the juvenile Megalodon, therefore, attacked their prey in an identical way. However, when adult Megalodon hunted, they swam bellow further into the deep, dark oceans in order for them to gain more momentum. Once they gained enough, they swam incredibly fast, at speeds as fast as 15–34 mph (13–30 knots), directly towards the surface to their prey and struck with intensely powerful force. On its initial attack run, Megalodon would probably go for vulnerable parts of the body, such as the flippers and tail. This would immediately cripple their prey so that it couldn't swim away or dive downwards. Megalodon's teeth would often fall out during these attacks, but new ones would grow in their place.
A special adaptation that Megalodon evolved was a protective membrane which was located at the back of its eyes. When attacking its prey, it would roll its eyes to reveal the membrane. The Sight would not be necessary for an attack as its sense of smell would steer it towards its prey. Megalodon's sense of smell was incredibly powerful, they could detect blood from miles away. Megalodon was a species of shark that evolved to literally attack and prey upon living whales, even very large ones. Whatever the species, whatever the size of the whale, Megalodon was a whale killer.
|“|| Known as "the Great Shark" by some or the "Tyrannosaurus rex of the sea" by others, Carcharodon Megalodon, otherwise known as Megalodon ("Big Tooth") or simply the Meg for short, was the largest shark that ever existed, massive and powerful enough to hunt and kill the giants of the seas, such as other large sharks, colossal squids, and even whales, no matter how large nor what species. Because of this, Megalodon has been dubbed as a "Whale Killer."
A shark measuring over 75 feet in length with jaws massive enough to swallow an entire speed boat and powerful enough to crush bone as well as teeth roughly the size of a human hand, this was arguably the largest and most powerful carnivorous animal the world had ever seen, roaming every ocean on Earth during the Late Miocene and through to the Early Pleistocene. This shark was so large, given the chance, it could eat a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Overall possessing the same physical appearance as the great white shark, only more than three times the size, Megalodon is a giant ancestor, and therefore, is said to have behaved the same way. For example, when hunting, they used the dark depths of the ocean to hide from their prey. When ready to strike, they snuck up from bellow at incredible speed and landed devastatingly powerful attacks on their unfortunate prey. Megalodon possessed the strongest jaws in the animal kingdom, far more powerful than that of T. rex.
With the mass of an adult Brachiosaurus, equipped with incredible hunting strategies, and armed to the teeth, Megalodon was an unequaled apex predator of the prehistoric seas with nothing to fear, having no rivals and no natural predators during its time, save for larger Megalodon. If you believe "Jaws" was the devil, "The Meg" is death with a wide-open mouth.
|— Allen, in his Journal, about Megalodon|
- Megalodon is the last and largest prehistoric shark, as well as the largest marine carnivore, brought back to the park.
- Additionally, it is also the largest and most powerful predatory animal in general brought to the park as well.
- Megalodon is also the last creature brought to the park that comes from "the dangers of the water."
- Megalodon is the largest Cenozoic animal brought to the park.
- Though Megalodon is a shark and sharks have therefore been described as "silent predators", the Megalodon portrayed in the series surprisingly appear to make sound effects of its own, some of them being sound effects of large cats (leopard, lion, tiger, etc.) and walrus.