The best known of all prehistoric sharks is Carcharodon megalodon, although there were other large sharks that existed in prehistoric times. Megalodon is the best known of these prehistoric sharks because of their fossilized teeth that are still found in the oceans today.
Many people think about dinosaurs when they picture prehistoric times, but sharks actually survived the extinction of dinosaurs. They were even around long before dinosaurs even appeared on land, so it’s not surprising that they lasted longer than them too. In fact, the existence of sharks in the world’s oceans has been linked to a prehistoric time over 450 million years ago!
Sharks have been able to survive for so long because of their extreme ability to adapt to changing conditions. Many key points in their evolutionary history have proven just how resilient they really are as a genus. During the Cretaceous period, sharks had an abundance of food, so they grew to larger sizes. However, this food began to spread out over the world’s oceans, so sharks adapted to migration to go where food could be found.
Besides a lack of food, a drastic change in habitat temperature is another common factor that results in the extinction of many species worldwide, but sharks have been able to survive in these types of changing conditions. They have survived Ice Ages, especially the one in the Pilocene period that caused drastic ocean temperature drops and the extinction of other animal species across the globe.
Humans appeared on this earth around 100,000 years ago, so they never lived alongside Carcharodon megalodon. However many people still speculate what life could have been like living with this great ocean beast. Obviously, it’s impossible to say what it could’ve really been like, but it’s highly unlikely that people would have been enjoying ocean sports like surfing if they had co-existed. It’s entirely possible that entire fishing boats could’ve been attacked by megalodon if they had ever had the chance to share the waters of the ocean.
Prehistoric Megalodon Shark Facts
- Most Powerful Bite – Computer simulations have confirmed that megalodon’s bite was the most powerful of any creature that has ever lived on this earth.
- Extreme Size – Prehistoric fossil teeth have been used to reconstruct this shark to estimate it’s size, which is commonly agreed to be at least 55 feet long. Some estimates or special megalodon sharks may have even reached sizes of up to 100 feet in length.
- Huge Teeth – Megalodon, which means “giant tooth”, left behind fossilized teeth that have been found over seven inches in length. Their teeth are over twice the size of the largest great white shark teeth ever found.
- Prehistoric Greatness – Although there were other prehistoric sharks and other giant aquatic reptiles in the oceans of the Mesozoic Era, megalodon was the largest and fiercest of all of these prehistoric creatures. The huge aquatic reptile lizards of the time were still no match for megalodon. These creatures were pliosaurs like Kronosaurus and the feared Liopleurodon, which reached lengths of up to 35 feet.
- Long Live the King of the Ocean – Carcharodon megalodon ruled the oceans for 15 million years (17 million years ago until approximately 1 or 2 million years ago). During this reign, it was the undisputed King of the Ocean, consuming over a ton of food every day!