Q:

How do paleontologists know where to find Megalodon teeth?

A:

Quick Answer

Megalodon teeth have been found in Europe, Africa, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Malta, Grenadines, Puerto Rico, Canary Islands, Cuba and Jamaica. They have also been excavated from the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. The places where the fossils were unearthed lead palaeontologists to believe that this shark lived in warm ocean waters.

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Full Answer

The megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived in the Cenozoic Era, many millions of years ago. Megalodon means "big tooth" in ancient Greek. These creatures were very large, highly mobile and extremely adaptable. The seas were warmer during the megalodon's existence, making it possible for it to live in all the Earth's oceans. Sharks' bodies are made up of cartilage, which disintegrates quickly and hinders the fossilization process. The teeth are the only remnants that have been excavated and studied in great detail. Palaeontologists believe that the great white shark is a descendant of the megalodon. The megalodon fed on marine mammals such as dolphins and porpoises. It also fed on giant sea turtles and whales.

The reason for the shark's extinction is unknown. Based on limited knowledge of the megalodon, palaeontologists believe these animals died when the temperature of the ocean decreased. Another theory is that the megalodon's prey might have migrated to cooler waters that were unsuitable for the shark.

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