Megalodon Fossils | Darwin and Wallace: A Nature & Fossil Store

Megalodon Fossils

 

       The Megalodon shark is arguably nature’s greatest predator. The word “megalodon” literally means “big tooth,” so named and described by the Swiss biologist Louis Agassiz in 1835. Though the species name of megalodon is widely used, its genus is undecided by experts, with one camp recognizing it as Carcharodon megalodon (being more closely related to the Great White), and the other assigning it to Carcharocles megalodon (lumping it with other “Megatooth” sharks of the same genus). The majority of C. megalodon fossils known are of its enormous, serrated teeth, with the largest specimen on record measuring just over 7 inches long. The entire shark itself is estimated to have reached lengths of 52-60 ft. long (around three times the size of the largest Great Whites). Given the huge size of C. megalodon, its most common prey were baleen whales, though it also preyed on sea turtles, dolphins, pinnipeds, and sirenians. The oldest fossils known from C. megalodon date back to the Oligocene epoch (approximately 28 million years ago), while the youngest fossils date to the boundary of the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs (approximately 1.8 million years ago), of which there is a global distribution. Once the Central American Seaway had closed between the Americas during the Pliocene epoch, a cooling trend would keep C. megalodon in warmer waters, while its prey would adapt to the new, spreading, colder temperatures. The fossil record of whales during the Pliocene shows a trend of migration toward more polar regions during this time. With whales straying from warmer waters, and the oncoming Ice Ages of the Pleistocene epoch, C. megalodon was doomed to extinction.

Click on the images below to see the incredible fossils we offer in our Megalodon selection: