Otodus megalodon

Megalodon was the largest shark to ever swim the seven seas. It is estimated that females grew the largest, upwards of 60 feet in length and weighing nearly 150,000 pounds. Megalodon literally translates to "large tooth" and its mouth would have contained nearly 300 teeth at any given time, over 40,000 throughout its life. Megalodon used these teeth to feast on larger prey including dolphins, whales, and other sharks. Based on recovered fossilized teeth, researchers have estimated that Megalodon would have had a bite force of 138 times stronger than a human.

It was previously believed that Megalodon was related to the great white sharks currently roaming the oceans today. However, recent findings suggest otherwise. Megalodon was the last living member of its genus as it likely had distinctive features not seen in great whites such as a shorter nose, flatter jaw, and disproportionally longer pectoral fins. Its lineage spanned from 105 to 2.6 million years ago, beginning with Cretalamna appendiculata, and concluding with Otodus megalodon, living from 23 to 2.6 million years ago (Early Miocene to Pliocene). Now it is believed that our beloved great white sharks may have contributed to the extinction of the mighty Megalodon.

The planet entered a global cooling phase during the end of the Pliocene. This change in climate is believed to have devastated the oceanic ecosystems, killing off almost half of all sea turtles and a third of all sea birds. This drop in temperature would have caused a chain reaction, affecting even the top predators. Losing ideal hunting grounds, paired with an increase of competition, proved too much for the Meg.

No, Megalodon is not still alive in the deepest parts of the ocean. Its body is was not equipped to handle the significant water pressures found at those depths. Also, the lifeforms found that deep would not be enough to sustain the hunger of a Megalodon, leading to starvation.

Megalodon teeth have been found on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica. The fossils of these massive sharks hold a special place in our hearts here at Mineralogy. Most of the teeth in our collection have been found by a good friend of the company, pulled right out of the ocean floor off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. We clean, prep, and photograph all of our Megalodon teeth specimens right here in the galleries.