Megalodon

Carcharocles megalodonOtodus megalodonC. megalodonCarcharoclesMegalodon teethCarcharodon megalodonCarcharodon/Carcharocles megalodongiant shark toothMegaladonMegatooth shark skin
Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon), meaning "big tooth", is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago (mya), during the Early Miocene to the Pliocene.wikipedia
375 Related Articles

Shark

sharksSelachimorphaselachians
Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon), meaning "big tooth", is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago (mya), during the Early Miocene to the Pliocene.
These sharks attained gigantic proportions and include the extinct megatoothed shark, C. megalodon.

Great white shark

great white sharksCarcharodon carchariaswhite shark
It was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae, and a close relative of the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). The teeth of megalodon are morphologically similar to those of the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), and on the basis of this observation, Agassiz assigned megalodon to the genus Carcharodon.
The original hypothesis for the great white's origins is that it shares a common ancestor with a prehistoric shark, such as the C. megalodon.

Louis Agassiz

AgassizL. AgassizJean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz
Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz gave this shark its initial scientific name, Carcharodon megalodon, in his 1843 work Recherches sur les poissons fossiles, based on tooth remains.
He is particularly known for his contributions to ichthyological classification, including of extinct species such as megalodon, and to the study of geological history, including to the founding of glaciology.

Livyatan

Livyatan melvilleiL. melvilleiLeviathan
The animal faced competition from whale-eating cetaceans, such as Livyatan and other macroraptorial sperm whales, and possibly smaller ancestral killer whales.
The whale may have interacted with the large extinct shark megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon), competing with it for a similar food source.

Carcharocles angustidens

AngustidensC. angustidens
The genus Carcharocles currently contains four species: C. auriculatus, C. angustidens, C. chubutensis, and ''C.
This shark is related to another extinct megatoothed shark, Carcharocles megalodon.

Carcharocles

Carcharocles sp.
Megalodon is now considered to be a member of the family Otodontidae, genus Carcharocles, as opposed to its previous classification into Lamnidae, genus Carcharodon.
The genus usually includes the species informally known as Megalodon (i.e., Carcharocles megalodon); however, some taxonomic authorities place that species in various other genera.

Otodontidae

otodontid †Otodontidae megatoothed shark
Megalodon is now considered to be a member of the family Otodontidae, genus Carcharocles, as opposed to its previous classification into Lamnidae, genus Carcharodon. However, presently there is near unanimous consensus that it belongs to the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the ancestry of the great white shark during the Early Cretaceous.
They lived from the Early Cretaceous to the Pliocene, and included genera such as Carcharocles and Otodus.

Carcharocles auriculatus

C. auriculatus
The genus Carcharocles currently contains four species: C. auriculatus, C. angustidens, C. chubutensis, and ''C.
Carcharocles auriculatus is an extinct species of large sharks in the genus Carcharocles of the family Otodontidae, closely related to the sharks of the genus Otodus, and also closely related to the later species megalodon.

Carcharocles chubutensis

C. chubutensis
The genus Carcharocles currently contains four species: C. auriculatus, C. angustidens, C. chubutensis, and ''C.
This shark is considered to be a close relative of the famous prehistoric megatoothed shark, C. megalodon.

Baleen whale

Mysticetibaleen whalesmysticete
A reduction in the diversity of baleen whales and a shift in their distribution toward polar regions may have reduced megalodon's primary food source.
Miocene baleen whales were preyed upon by larger predators like killer sperm whales and Megalodon.

Shark tooth

shark teethtooth rowteeth
According to Renaissance accounts, gigantic triangular fossil teeth often found embedded in rocky formations were once believed to be the petrified tongues, or glossopetrae, of dragons and snakes.
C. megalodon teeth are the largest of any shark, extinct or living, and are among the most sought after types of shark teeth in the world.

Onzole Formation

Onzole
The formation consists of a shallow marine sandstone member containing many fish fossils, among which megalodon, and a deep water member comprising tuffaceous shales and mudstones containing gastropods, bivalves and scaphopods.

Marine life

marinemarine animalsea life
Megalodon probably had a major impact on the structure of marine communities.
Megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived about 28 to 1.5 Ma. It looked much like a stocky version of the great white shark, but was much larger with fossil lengths reaching 20.3 m. Found in all oceans it was one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history, and probably had a profound impact on marine life.

Carcharodon

Carcharodon caifassiiCarcharodon cf. carchariasCarcharodon hastalis
The teeth of megalodon are morphologically similar to those of the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), and on the basis of this observation, Agassiz assigned megalodon to the genus Carcharodon.
Carcharocles megalodon is still argued by some paleontologists (e.g. Michael D. Gottfried and Ewan Fordyce) to be a close relative of Carcharodon carcharias.

Cretolamna

Cretolamna appendiculataCretalamnaC. appendiculata
The genus Otodus is ultimately derived from Cretolamna, a shark from the Cretaceous period.
It is considered by many to be the ancestor of many of the famous shark genera, such as the mako, great white, Carcharocles angustidens, and Carcharocles megalodon sharks.

Paleocene

PalaeoceneLate PaleocenePaleocene epoch
This is because transitional fossils have been found showing that Megalodon is the final chronospecies of a lineage of giant sharks originally of the genus Otodus which evolved during the Paleocene. Another model of the evolution of this genus, also proposed by Casier in 1960, is that the direct ancestor of the Carcharocles is the shark Otodus obliquus, which lived from the Paleocene through the Miocene epochs, 60 mya to 13 mya.
The first megatoothed shark, Otodus obliquus–the ancestor of the giant megalodon–is recorded from the Paleocene.

Otodus

Otodus obliquusPalaeogenotodus
Another model of the evolution of this genus, also proposed by Casier in 1960, is that the direct ancestor of the Carcharocles is the shark Otodus obliquus, which lived from the Paleocene through the Miocene epochs, 60 mya to 13 mya.
Scientists determined that Otodus evolved into the genus Carcharocles, given substantial fossil evidence in the form of transitional teeth.

Macroraptorial sperm whale

macroraptorial
The animal faced competition from whale-eating cetaceans, such as Livyatan and other macroraptorial sperm whales, and possibly smaller ancestral killer whales.
Macroraptorials probably competed with the extinct giant shark megalodon for the same food sources.

Highlands Formation

It preserves fossils of Megalodon dating back to the Pliocene period.

Miocene

Late MioceneEarly MioceneMiddle Miocene
Another model of the evolution of this genus, also proposed by Casier in 1960, is that the direct ancestor of the Carcharocles is the shark Otodus obliquus, which lived from the Paleocene through the Miocene epochs, 60 mya to 13 mya.
Prominent examples are C. megalodon and L. melvillei.

Pliocene

Pliocene epochLate PlioceneEarly Pliocene
It has been thought that megalodon became extinct around the end of the Pliocene, about 2.6 mya; claims of Pleistocene megalodon teeth, younger than 2.6 million years old, are considered unreliable.
The Pliocene seas were alive with sea cows, seals, sea lions and sharks.

Red Crag Formation

Red CragWaltonian Red Crag
At the coastline by Walton-on-the-Naze, remains of Megalodon were found.

Megalolamna

Megalolamna paradoxodon
The discovery of fossils assigned to the genus Megalolamna in 2016 led to a re-evaluation of Otodus, which concluded that it is paraphyletic, that is, it consists of a last common ancestor but it does not include all of its descendants.
The study of Megalolamna 's taxonomic relationships also demonstrates the possibility that Otodus needs to include the species sometimes assigned to Carcharocles (i.e., the megatoothed lineage, including megalodon) in order to be monophyletic.