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Megalodon

Malaysia scilover Offline
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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.[6] It was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae and a close relative of the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). However, it is now classified into the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the great white shark during the Early Cretaceous.

While regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived, megalodon is known from fragmentary remains, and its appearance and maximum size are uncertain. Scientists differ on whether it would have more closely resembled a stockier version of the great white shark, the basking shark (Cetorhinus Maximus), or the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus).

Megalodon probably had a major impact on the structure of marine communities. The fossil record indicates that it had a cosmopolitan distribution. It probably targeted large prey, such as whalesseals, and sea turtles. Juveniles inhabited warm coastal waters and fed on fish and small whales. Unlike the great white, which attacks prey from the soft underside, megalodon probably used its strong jaws to break through the chest cavity and puncture the heart and lungs of its prey.
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