Megalodon Jaws (Huge)

The Truth Behind Megalodon Sharks That Inspire ‘The Meg’ Movie

Carcharodon carcharias Relationship between megalodon and other sharks, including the great white shark Carcharodon carcharias competing figures still exist as to when it evolved, such as 16 mya and 23 mya.

Carcharodon carcharias Relationship between megalodon and other sharks, including the great white shark Carcharodon carcharias competing figures still exist as to when it evolved, such as 16 mya and 23 mya. In this model, the great white shark is more closely related to the shark Isurus hastalis than to megalodon, as evidenced by more similar dentition in those two sharks; megalodon teeth have much finer serrations than great white shark teeth.

The great white shark is more closely related to the mako shark Isurus spp. Hannibal in to contain C. In the s, megalodon was assigned to Carcharocles. It is now considered a junior synonym of Carcharocles. It is believed to be an evolutionary dead-end and unrelated to the Carcharocles sharks by authors who reject that model. The evolution of this lineage is characterized by the increase of serrations, the widening of the crown, the development of a more triangular shape, and the disappearance of the lateral cusps.

A review of Chondrichthyes elevated Megaselachus to genus, and classified the sharks as Megaselachus megalodon and M. The inclusion of the Carcharocles sharks in Otodus would make it monophyletic , with the sister clade being Megalolamna.

The jaws may have been blunter and wider than the great white, and the fins would have also been similar in shape, though thicker due to its size. It may have had a pig-eyed appearance, in that it had small, deep-set eyes. The tail fin would have been crescent-shaped, the anal fin and second dorsal fin would have been small, and there would have been a caudal keel present on either side of the tail fin on the caudal peduncle.

This build is common in other large aquatic animals, such as whales, tuna, and other sharks, in order to reduce drag while swimming. The head shape can vary between species as most of the drag-reducing adaptations are toward the tail-end of the animal.

This is unlikely since the sand tiger shark is a carangiform swimmer which require faster movement of the tail for propulsion through the water than the great white shark, a thunniform swimmer. Randall estimated that the maximum length attained by C. Schembri and Stephen Papson opined that C.

Since the otodontid sharks are considered to have been ectotherms , and megalodon was a close relative to them, megalodon may have also been ectothermic. Contrary to this, the largest contemporary ectothermic sharks, such as the whale shark, are filter feeders, implying some metabolic constraints with a predatory lifestyle. That is to say, it is unlikely that megalodon was ectothermic. Dean had overestimated the size of the cartilage on both jaws, causing it to be too tall.

Gottfried, Leonard Compagno , and S. Curtis Bowman proposed a linear relationship between a shark's total length and the height of the largest upper anterior tooth.

The proposed relationship is: He claimed that for every 1 centimeter 0. Jeremiah pointed out that the jaw perimeter of a shark is directly proportional to its total length, with the width of the roots of the largest teeth being a tool for estimating jaw perimeter. The largest tooth in Jeremiah's possession had a root width of about 12 centimeters 4. Shimada stated that the previously proposed methods were based on a less-reliable evaluation of the dental homology between megalodon and the great white shark, and that the growth rate between the crown and root is not isometric , which he considered in his model.

This result appears to be an error within the matrix, and the length of this individual is actually Diagnostic characteristics include a triangular shape, robust structure, large size, fine serrations, a lack of lateral denticles , and a visible V-shaped neck where the root meets the crown.

The tooth was anchored by connective tissue fibers , and the roughness of the base may have added to mechanical strength. The anterior teeth were almost perpendicular to the jaw and symmetrical, whereas the posterior teeth were slanted and asymmetrical.

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Another nearly complete associated megalodon dentition was excavated from the Yorktown Formations in the United States, and served as the basis of a jaw reconstruction of megalodon at the National Museum of Natural History USNM. Based on these discoveries, an artificial dental formula was put together for megalodon in As evident from the formula, megalodon had four kinds of teeth in its jaws: Megalodon's intermediate tooth technically appears to be an upper anterior and is termed as "A3" because it is fairly symmetrical and does not point mesially side of the tooth toward the midline of the jaws where the left and right jaws meet.

Megalodon had a very robust dentition, : Wroe conducted an experiment to determine the bite force of the great white shark, using a 2. They placed the bite force of the latter between , to , newtons 24, to 41, lbf in a posterior bite, compared to the 18, N 4, lbf bite force for the largest confirmed great white shark, and 7, N 1, lbf for the placoderm fish Dunkleosteus.

In addition, Wroe and colleagues pointed out that sharks shake sideways while feeding, amplifying the force generated, which would probably have caused the total force experienced by prey to be higher than the estimate. Its chondrocranium , the cartilaginous skull, would have had a blockier and more robust appearance than that of the great white.

Its fins were proportional to its larger size. The most notable example is a partially preserved vertebral column of a single specimen, excavated in the Antwerp Basin , Belgium, in It comprises vertebral centra , with the centra ranging from 55 millimeters 2.

The shark's vertebrae may have gotten much bigger, and scrutiny of the specimen revealed that it had a higher vertebral count than specimens of any known shark, possibly over centra; only the great white approached it. It arguably had the capacity to endure such low temperatures due to mesothermy, the physiological capability of large sharks to conserve metabolic heat by maintaining a higher body temperature than the surrounding water.

Adult megalodon were not abundant in shallow water environments, and mostly inhabited offshore areas. Megalodon may have moved between coastal and oceanic waters, particularly in different stages of its life cycle. They do not suggest any trend of changing body size with absolute latitude, or of change in size over time although the Carcharocles lineage in general is thought to display a trend of increasing size over time.

The overall modal length has been estimated at

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The species was so widely spread that megalodon teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica.

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