Concept

Megalodon

Summary
Megalodon (ˈmɛgələdɒn ; Otodus megalodon), meaning "big tooth", is an extinct species of mackerel shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago (Mya), from the Early Miocene to the Pliocene epochs. 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, the megalodon is only 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 whale shark (Rhincodon typus), the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) or the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus). The most recent estimate with the least error range suggests a maximum length estimate up to , a
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