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Megalodon

From Academic Kids

Megalodon
Conservation status: Fossil
Missing image
Megalodon_tooth.jpg
Megalodon tooth with U.S. Quarter for scale


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Chondrichthyes
Subclass:Elasmobranchii
Order:Lamniformes
Family:Lamnidae
Genus:Carcharodon
Species:megalodon
Binomial name
Carcharodon megalodon
Agassiz, 1843

Megalodon is also a tradename for a make of rebreather for scuba diving.

The Megalodon or Megatooth shark (Carcharodon megalodon, from ancient Greek, mega + odon, lit. "big tooth") was a giant shark that lived between 5 million and 1.6 million years ago.

The Megalodon is known only from fossil teeth, which are in some ways similar to great white shark teeth; recent studies cited by Roesch suggest Megalodon was a "close relative" of the great white. Some estimates of this creature's size range up to 50 feet (about 16 metres). Previous much larger reconstructions of the shark's size, up to 100 feet (30 m), are generally considered inaccurate.

Some recent reports of large shark-like creatures--including a sighting by writer Zane Grey, who was an avid fisherman--have been interpreted as surviving Megalodons, but such reports are generally considered misidentification of whale sharks or other large creatures.

Megalodon teeth have been discovered that some argue date as recently as 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, perhaps making the species' extinction a recent event, and making it more conceivable that Megalodon might yet survive in the deep ocean.

Others have countered that such recent estimates are inaccurate, and "claims of post-Pliocene C. megalodon ... are erroneous" and based on outdated methodology. [1] (http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bz050/megalodon.html) Roesch and others also note that Megalodons were probably coastal sharks, and that deep-sea survival is extremely unlikely.

There is a theory that Carcharodon megalodon when adult fed largely on whales, and went extinct as the polar seas became too cold for sharks, letting whales go out of reach of sharks for the summer.

Around 1995 the species was proposed to be placed in the new genus Carcharocles. To date this has not been resolved.

A supposed surviving population of Megalodon sharks has been the subject of fictional novels, including several by Steve Alten.

External links

Shark articles
Angel | Basking | Blacktip Reef | Blue | Bull | Carpet | Cat | Cookiecutter | Freshwater | Frilled | Goblin | Gray Reef | Grey Nurse | Great White | Hammerhead | Mako | Megamouth | Nurse | Oceanic Whitetip | Porbeagle | Requiem | River | Sand | Sandbar | Saw | Silky | Sleeper | Smooth dogfish | Thresher | Tiger | Whale (shark) | Whitetip reef | Wobbegong | Zebra / Leopard
Extinct shark species
Megalodon | Cladoselache | Squalicorax

de:Megalodon fr:Megalodon nl:Megalodon fi:Megalodon

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