clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Researchers reveal the full size of the megalodon shark for the first time

How big the the megalodon? Researchers recently revealed the true scale

A tooth of an extinct giant shark called ‘Carcharodon megalodon’ found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013.
A tooth of an extinct giant shark called “Carcharodon megalodon” found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013.
AP

The size of the prehistoric megalodon shark has been revealed for the first time in new research published this week.

  • The shark’s teeth were as big as human hands.
  • The fin was as tall as a human adult.

What’s going on?

Researchers at the University of Bristol and Swansea University used mathematics to determine the size of the shark based on rare fossil remains of the beast’s teeth.

  • The giant shark would have been about 59 feet long and weighed 48 tons. That is larger than any shark ever known to exist.
  • The teeth were about as big as human hands with a bite force of 10 tons. For comparison, a regular great white shark has a bite force of 2 tons. Good luck.

More about the shark

Jack Cooper, who led the study, told CNN that the shark likely ate small whales and marine mammals.

  • “Megalodon was actually the very animal that inspired me to pursue palaeontology in the first place at just six years old, so I was over the moon to get a chance to study it.”
  • “This was my dream project. But to study the whole animal is difficult considering that all we really have are lots of isolated teeth.”