Megalodon “Beast of the Sea”: 2nd Place – Christian Whitney, Lancaster Mennonite School

You might be scared of sharks to the point where you don’t get into the water. You might think that if you go into the water the biggest great white shark recorded will come out of the water and eat you. If you think that that’s bad, imagine a shark over three times that size swimming in the deep! That shark was called Megalodon.

If you translate the word Megalodon it means big tooth and that is exactly right. Each tooth was nearly 7 inches long. Now imagine 24 of them impaling you. Good thing that they are extinct! Scientists said that they went extinct 1-25 million years ago. If they were still alive today, a lot of our sea creatures might not still exist today.

You may wonder how Megalodons went extinct. If a shark this big didn’t have any predators then how did they die off? One possible reason would be that as the water began to get colder the Megalodon’s food source started to disappear. An animal this big needs a lot of food, and if the food source disappears then there isn’t much that the Megalodon can do about it.

The size of the Megalodon is a big factor. A great white shark normally grows to about 4.5 meters. The average Megalodon grew to about 14 meters while some grew up to 20 meters. Even just the average Megalodon was as long as a full size school bus. The average pup was around 6 meters, which already is the same as a giant shark.

Being the biggest shark ever, this beast could take down a full size whale no problem. First it would take off the flipper and then it would be able to get the rest of the whale since it was then not able to move. Another theory for food was cannibalism. Once the megalodon laid eyes on another shark since it was bigger it could just eat that. They wouldn’t be able to go after another megalodon because it could turn into a big fight for survival.

The teeth are the only evidence of the megalodon since the skeleton was made of cartilage, which doesn’t fossilize easily. Looking at the little amount of real bone from the megalodon, however, scientists think that the closest relative to Megalodon was the great white shark, but when they tried to make a to scale model of the jaws, there wasn’t the third smaller slanting tooth. That proves that the megalodon was its own species!

Even though we don’t know what Megalodon looked like, it was still the biggest and most fierce shark ever, making it a piece of history and something to remember. We can be glad that it doesn’t exist anymore. There still are scary and big sharks out there, but none like Megalodon.

Bibliography

  • “The Megalodon Shark Facts & Stats – Is It Still Alive?” Welcome To SharkSidercom. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2015.
  • “Megalodon: The Monster Shark’s Dead Documentary.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.
  • “THE REAL JAWS Megalodon Once Ruled These Waters.” “” by Julavits, Joe. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.
  • “It’s a Hobby with Bite; Sharks’ Teeth Fossils Are Prized.” “” by Aguilar, Christopher F. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.
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