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All About Sharks!
Geologic Time Chart
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Megalodon's diet probably consisted mostly of whales. Sharks eat about 2 percent of their body weight each day; this a bit less than a human being eats. Since most sharks are cold-blooded, they don't have to eat as much as we eat (a lot of our food intake is used to keep our bodies warm).
TEETH AND JAWS
Shark fossils are extremely rare because sharks have no bones, only cartilage, which does not fossilize well. Their teeth, however, are very hard. Their teeth are made of a bone-like material coated with hard enamel and they fossilize very well. Megalodon teeth are similar to those of the Great White Shark, but are much bigger, thicker, and with finer serrrations. Megalodon's jaws could open 6 feet (1.8 m) wide and 7 feet (2.1 m) high. The jaws were loosely attached by ligaments and muscles to the skull, opening extremely wide in order to swallow enormous objects. It could easily swallow a large Great White Shark whole!
Like most sharks, Megalodon's teeth were probably located in rows which rotated into use as they were needed. Most sharks have about 3-5 rows of teeth at any time. The front set does most of the work. The first two rows are used for obtaining prey, the other rows rotate into place as they are needed. As teeth are lost, broken, or worn down, they are replaced by new teeth. Megalodon may have had hundreds of teeth at one time. It did not chew their food like we do, but gulped it down whole in very large chunks.
WHEN MEGALODON LIVED
Megalodon lived from roughly 25 to 1.6 million years ago, during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs. It is now extinct, but the exact time of its extinction is hotly debated.
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Subphylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Family Lamnidae (genus Carcharodon) or Otodontidae (genus Carcharocles)
Genus Carcharodon (meaning "rough tooth") or Carcharocles (There is currently some debate as to whether the megalodon's genus should be Carcharocles or Carcharodon. Megalodon was once thought to be a direct ancestor of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, and so was put in the same genus; new evidence indicates that it not ancestral to the great white shark, so Megalodon was assigned to a new genus, Carcharocles)
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