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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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United States BA0701 Offline
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True story. There is a beach in Florida called Venice Beach, on the west coast, south of Tampa. I grew up in FL, on the east coast, and we locals often referred to Venice Beach as "Fossil Beach" for the large numbers of fossilized sharks teeth that could be found there. So prevalent are these teeth that I myself have found them literally lying in the sand while simply walking down the beach.

Anyhow, we used to drive over there for "fossil hunting" dive trips. These were simply beach dives, requiring nothing more than suiting up and walking into the water, with depths usually no deeper than 15' so you could stay on the bottom as long as you had air in your tanks. During my countless trips to Venice Beach, I had acquired a 5 gallon ziploc bag full of fossilized teeth from practically every known species from that period, including tigers sharks, and Megalodons. I had a large printed card that showed all of the different types of prehistoric sharks teeth that could be found in the area, and I had found examples of every single one of them. However, all of my Megalodon teeth at the time consisted only of fragments and partial teeth, some larger pieces but still broken, until one particular day when I noticed what looked like a black rock in the sand. I brushed the sand away, and revealed a fully intact Megalodon tooth, larger than my hand, it was massive. This tooth was completely intact, still had the serrations completely down both sides, one small chip in one side, and a slight crack about 2" long down the back. It was an amazing specimen. I was around 24 years old back when I found that tooth, and when I came out of the water, there was a crowd of people gathered to see the tooth I had uncovered, along with a local shop owner, who sold fossilized teeth in a kiosk on the beach, actually offered me $500 on the spot for it, which I immediately declined. 

Sadly, that trip would be the last one I made to Venice Beach, which was something I was obviously unaware of at the time, but sometimes life has different plans. Approximately 2 years after I found that tooth, a friend of mine offered to trade me a 10 week old Chow puppy for my tooth. I really wanted that dog, and since he was a friend, I told him I would do him one better, I'd trade him my entire ziploc bag of teeth, which just sat in a drawer at that point. My thinking was I had found that big tooth simply enough, along with all of the others, that it would not be a difficult thing to replace. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only did I never make it back over to Venice Beach after that, I have since moved away from Florida entirely. My family all still live there, near Cocoa Beach, where most have since retired from their jobs at the Kennedy Space Center, where they had jobs from liquid propellants engineer (fueling the Shuttle) to procurement (buying parts and equipment). The dog, well she has since passed, in 2007, but she was an incredible member of the family for all of the many years that she was with us, and while I have no regrets in making the trade, I still wish I had put more efforts into returning over there, to try and locate another once in a lifetime type of find as I did that day, back in 1991.
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United States BA0701 Offline
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“This means we could simply take the growth curves of the five modern forms and project the overall shape as they get larger and larger – right up to a body length of 16 metres [52.5 feet],”

Megalodon discovery: Scientists reveal giant shark’s astonishing true scale
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