Premium Quality Megalodon Fossil Shark Teeth
Now availble at THE FOSSIL STORE™, but for how long we can not say. Megalodon the terror of the Cenozoic oceans may have been edged into extinction by one of the most docile mammals on the planet. New research reveals conclusive evidence of the feeding habits of Megalodon. Alberto Collareta, of the University of Pisa, explains in the New Scientist magazine, that in his paper published in the Journal of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology, for the first time we can establish what was the exact prey species of the Megalodon, the extinct 50 tonnes, 60 foot prehistoric Mega jaw-gapping 10 foot jaws, an ancient whale killer of the Oligocene and Pliocene epoch’s some 28,000,000 to 2,6000,000 years ago, a run of over 25 million years of terror before this magnificent species became extinct.
Megalodon a warm water feeder, was prevalent in what is today North American southern waters, feeding on early pygmy types of baleen whales, Priscbalaena nana and large seals, Priscophoca pacifica. Both mammals around 5 metres long (around one third of Megalodon’s length), these were the perfect bite size prey for Mega-mouth. Coincidentally also about the size of a modern day humpback whale calf (a humpback calf, at around 4 metres, was captured on film being attacked and killed by dusky sharks [Carcharhinus obscures 2-3 metres long], off the coast of South Africa), could this behaviour be a lineage trend passed from ancient ancestors to extant modern day sharks?
As these early pygmy baleen whales and seals developed in warmer shallow waters so did Megalodon, growing to enormous sizes. With prolifical steak knife serrated edged teeth up to 7.25 inches in size (A modern day mature adult Gt.White shark of around 20-25 foot, has teeth in the size range from 2 to 2.5 inches). Holding a large fossil Megalodon tooth in ones hands is the only real way to gauge the terror of Megalodon of the Cenozoic. With a battery of up to 250 razor sharp triangular teeth in jaws big enough to swallow a small car.
Alongside Megalodon larger whales developed in deeper water. Megalodon bite marks have been found in large whale vertebra and bones and for some time it was thought that larger whales were Megalodon’s main prey source. However it is not yet clear whether this could have been due to scavenging large whale carcass’s. In fact these large whales may well be a significant key to Megalodon’s extinction. To large to successfully hunt when the smaller baleen whales became extinct Megalodon suffered a decline. Large cetacean development coincided with climate change.
The poles became colder and trapped great quantities of ice, seawater levels dropped globally, affecting coastal regions and the shallow sea pygmy baleen ecosystems. Baleen whales went into decline. The remaining baleens hunted out and in decline meant the Megalaodon also declined. Food habitats changed, seasonal increases around the poles of production of great quantities of food resulted in large whale migration more frequently, as they were also better equipped to survive in the much colder food rich waters of the artic, not Megalodon, which favoured warmer water.
Studies show when large sharks move out of an area or decline in numbers smaller sharks thrive, Catalina Piemiento of the university of Zurich, in her 6 year study points towards the decline in Megalodon coinciding with the development of large whales and an increase in smaller sharks, however she claims further work is needed to fully establish her findings. Could this competition also have added great pressure to the Megalodon plight. With baleens in decline and while seals more easily changed their feeding habits or were hunted out by smaller sharks, Megalodon continued on a steady decline. Baleens became extinct around 3 million years ago, 400,000 years later (2.6 m.y.a.), Megalodon followed. Other sharks took the place of Megalodon. A lot more research will be needed and fossils to be discovered, with more intriguing feeding marks, before science can establish the whole Cenozoic scene, this is a work in progress.