The megalodon was a prehistoric shark species that went extinct at least 1.5 million years ago; the reasons the giant predators disappeared remain a mystery. Megalodons were not only the largest sharks to have ever lived, they were also the largest marine predator to ever swim the world’s oceans. While some propose that the sharks may still swim the world’s oceans, most scientists agree they are extinct.
Most of what is known about the giant sharks has been inferred from fossilized teeth and a few bones. Megalodons probably reached about 60 feet in length and had huge, 7-inch-long teeth; however, some scientists suspect that the giant fish may have reached up to 100 feet in length. They likely fed on giant whales. Megalodons probably weighed approximately 100 tons.
Some scientists believe that megalodons employed a different hunting style than modern sharks do. While most modern sharks attack the soft underbelly of their prey, megalodon teeth appear to have been well-suited for slicing through tendons and connective tissue. This has led some scientists to speculate that megalodons bit off the fins of their prey to disable them.
Megalodons lived in all of the world’s oceans. Their closest living relatives are great white sharks, who are the largest living predatory sharks in the world.