The megalodon shark (C. Megalodon) is widely pertained to as both the largest shark come have ever lived ~ above Earth and also one the the largest vertebrate predators in history. Megalodons roamed the seas from roughly 28 million years ago until ~1.6 million year ago, as soon as they were wiped out throughout the Pleistocene extinction.

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Megalodons were, together we know, freaking huge. Few of the teeth uncovered from this whopping an excellent predator have been over 17 centimeters (7 inches) in full height, yet the bulk are in between 3 and 5 inches (still, massive).  Reconstructions utilizing jaws and other fossilized remains indicate that megalodons probably reached maximum lengths of approximately 54 feet (16.5 meters), approximately 3 times larger than good whites (C. Carcharias). They even make T-rex’s look like pansies in comparison.

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Image credit: Matt Martyniuk, via Wikimedia Commons. 

The widespread distribution of megalodon fossils, in specific teeth, suggests that it to be a cosmopolitan species that populated a wide range of marine environments, like warm and also temperate shallower waters. They to be at the top of the food chain and also would have actually eaten large prey such together cetaceans (dolphins and also whales).

As mentioned, megalodons go extinct an estimated 1.6 million year ago. Yet some world are not satisfied through this and are persuaded that they might still exist. Unfortunately, part documentaries (that offered fake footage) have numerous people fully convinced that they're tho hiding in the ocean. Therefore let’s go through the common arguments and also hopefully we deserve to reach a sensible conclusion.

First off, nobody has direct proof to indicate that they do still exist. No, lack of proof is not evidence that absence- we recognize this. It’s very daunting to prove miscellaneous doesn’t exist, but equally that doesn’t average that megalodons space still lurking about somewhere. 

There have been numerous eyewitness account of large sharks throughout background and additionally various illustrations of giant washed increase sharks, even some photographs. One picture in certain which stirred increase a lot of dispute was picture that to be presented in a exploration Channel documentary (which was fictional) showing the dorsal and also caudal (tail) fin of a shark alongside a submarine, extending a lining 64 foot. The photo was fabricated. The documentary to be in reality a "mockumentary", which was proclaimed in a very little disclaimer at the end. Plus, 64 foot (almost 20 meters) is larger than the estimates of the entire body size of megalodons! This was just dorsal fin come tail! The “scientists” that showed up in this documentary, entitled “Megalodon- The Monster Shark Lives,” were also actors. Sorry.

Sketches of huge sharks the washed up on beaches plenty of years earlier were additionally most likely either exaggerated good whites or basking sharks. That knows because that sure, yet you can’t rely on a illustration as evidence, that’s not exactly how science works. Eyewitness account are additionally extremely unreliable, particularly when taking care of rotting or decomposing animals. Come the untrained eye, a whale shark or a basking shark can look choose some kind of giant great white. It’s straightforward mistake to make.

A pair of unexpected explorations have additionally fuelled id that megalodons tho exist; coelacanths and also the megamouth shark. Coelacanths are very old species of fish the were assumed to have actually been extinct because the end of the cretaceous period, approximately 65 million years ago. However, much to the excitement of the clinical community, one was captured in 1938 and also another in 1952. Since then many have to be spotted transparent the world. The coelocanth is a fairly easy varieties to miss - they frequently live at great depths, and spend lot of their time in caves. Just since we to be wrong about coelacanths, the doesn’t average that megalodons exist.

The megamouth shark was discovered only in 1976. This shark is a plankton feeder that deserve to reach as much as 15 feet (4.5 meters) in length, so it’s quite big. Yes, this does to mark the fact that also relatively huge shark species can escape our radar and also spend year lurking in the oceans unnoticed, however once again the doesn’t prove the megalodons exist. The megamouth is a plankton feeder, and swims at good depths throughout the day, making its detection difficult.

Sharks also regularly shed teeth, but we haven’t discovered any type of megalodon this that show they were freshly lost. 

Another idea that sometimes plants up - could megalodon be hiding in yes, really deep oceans, escaping our detection? probably not. Fossil evidence from megalodons argues that they wanted shallower, warmer waters and would have inhabited locations rife with huge prey necessary to sustain their populations. They likewise used coastal areas as nursing grounds. Furthermore, it’s thought among the components that might have added to their extinction to be the migration of their prey to chillier waters, restricting the prey easily accessible to them. They just were not adjusted to life deep in the oceans (we’re talking really deep here for other this ginormous to be able to escape detection).

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So, we’ve only explored a tiny section of ours oceans. This is true. But the VAST bulk of s life lives in the first couple of hundred meters, where the sunlight can reach. Below that, life i do not care highly committed and huge animals are rare. Megalodons were huge and would require a constant supply of huge animals to feeding off. Maybe megalodons didn't walk extinct but evolved into a smaller, dedicated shark qualified of living deep in the oceans? well then the wouldn't it is in a megalodon anymore. 

Even if lock were, somehow, hiding in deep seas like the giant squid - we still have documented evidence of the huge squid! Tentacles and also bodies have to be washing up for years, and also footage that live pets has been shot over the last couple of years. Ns reiterate- megalodons to be HUGE! If they still existed, we would know around it. They would certainly be chowing under on substantial sharks and whales all over the world. We would watch bite point out on whales, scars indigenous old attacks too big to be from any kind of known shark. It would be a spectacular sight, but unfortunately no one that we are going to see.

We’re sure most world are happy with the idea that megalodons room extinct, yet for the couple of individuals that space still confident they exist- us hope this is sufficient to convince you that science says no. 

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Just sit in one's jaw, together one does. Image credit: reconstruction by Bashford Dean in 1909, via Wikimedia Commons.