Megalodon is a species of extinct shark. Which existed in the miocene and pliocene. Due to the fact that very few remains of megalodon have been preserved. Scientists make up its dimensions based on the size of a white shark. In the early 1900s, Bashford Dean performed the first-ever reconstruction of the megalodon jaw.
The jaw was more than 3 meters. Based on the size of this reconstruction, the ancestor of the modern shark was more than 30 meters long. Due to the fact that the creator of the reconstruction did not have clear data on the composition of the teeth. The reconstruction is considered not entirely accurate. There have been many assumptions about the size of the megalodon. New theories were compiled on the basis of the teeth found. And mostly ranged from 10 to 30 meters, no more.
Already in modern times, in 2010, Catalina Pimento and a group of researchers conducted an analysis of megalodon teeth. Starting from the tooth crown, they came to the conclusion that the megalodon reached no more than 16.8 meters in length. In the next study, scientists collected 22 more samples of teeth. Taking into account the previous samples, a total of 40 teeth turned out. The most interesting thing is that 3 of them reached up to 17 meters in length.
Given the small size of many teeth, it can be concluded that their owners were quite young individuals.
According to relatively new research. The size of the megalodon was 10-17 meters long. The weight could reach from 12.6 to 33.9 metric tons.
In 2008, scientists created a computer model of the jaws of a white shark. And applied these calculations on the example of megalodon. When calculating the mass of the megalodon, the bite force was also calculated. The weight of 48 tons accounted for a bite force of 109 kN. And with a mass of 103 tons — 182 kN. This is an order of magnitude more than that of a white shark. The megalodon had one of the strongest bites in history.
The cause of extinction
A possible cause of extinction is the appearance of toothed whales. Which are the ancestors of modern killer whales. Because of their rather large size, the ancestors of modern sharks did not swim as well as these agile guys. They hunted mainly small whales. When the cold snap occurred in the Pliocene, glaciers “connected” huge water masses. The consequence was the disappearance of many seas, the oceans have become colder. The whales managed to survive, since they took refuge in waters where there is a lot of plankton. But for the megalodon, it became fatal.