Anyone who has ever watched Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week (aka the best week of the year) is familiar with the Megalodon, the massive shark dubbed sea monster that roamed the ocean waters around five to 15 million years ago. Every year it seems that Discovery Channel is learning more and more about this ancient beast of the sea. It is debated often by marine biologists, especially during Shark Week, whether or not there are some of these massive sharks still roaming the waters. So far, this has neither been proven nor disproven. However, most will say that the Megalodon specials just make for good TV, and there is not credible evidence for its current existence (Shark Week and its fans disagree with this statement).
A beachgoer, Danny Bland, recently discovered a tooth of the massive shark in North Top Sail, N. C. The prehistoric shark tooth was six inches long, about the size of Bland’s hand. The average size for the Megalodon’s tooth is about five inches, but can be over seven inches long. Imagine an entire mouth full of those teeth (most of us would rather not). Their bite force was around 182 newtons, which would feel like 41,000 pounds crushing you, in case you were interested. The Tyrannosaurus Rex’s bite force was about three times less than the Megalodon, to put into perspective just how massive this creature was.
Now, with such massive teeth, and an equally massive jaw, there must be a massive body to match. The Megalodon probably ranged between 40 and 70 feet, mostly on the larger end of the spectrum. The average great white shark is 15 feet, so the Megalodon could have been up to over four times the size of what we currently consider the monsters of the sea. The exact measurements of the Megalodon are not absolutely certain, but what is, is that it was the largest carnivorous creature to ever exist on Earth.
It is apparent that these creatures were quite a unique species. Though they are a species of shark, they differ greatly from any type. Because the shark was a prehistoric creature, paleontologists have also taken an interest in the study of our Earth’s largest creature. Paleontologists and marine biologists continue to study the Megalodon and it doesn’t seem like they will stop until they have all the answers. The Megalodon specials are easily some of Shark Week’s most popular features, so look out next year for more information they will be finding as they discover more teeth, fossils and information.
The teeth, like the one that Bland found in North Carolina, are a hot commodity online with the ever increasing popularity in sharks, this prehistoric one specifically. Shark teeth are popular items, but great white teeth cannot compare. Megalodon teeth can be bought online for an average price of $300. So, for all you shark fin-atics out there who feel a Megalodon tooth is something you must have, you better start saving up.