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"Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water..."

Carcharocles megalodon

The great white shark had two ancestors that were even more impressive...and scary. The "big dawg" was carcharocles megalodon (above), who lived from 3 to 15 million years ago.

Fully grown, C. megalodon was more than 10 times the size of its descendant, today's great white shark.

At 52 feet in length and 52 tons, C-Megs was the largest predatory fish and the second-largest carnivore (after the Sperm Whale, physeter macrocephalus) ever to inhabit our planet. Megalodon teeth can be over 7" long (below, right). As you can see, C-Megs jaw was more than big enough for people to fit into standing up.

Our fossilized C-Megs teeth come from clay and sand formations in the southeast US (Carolinas, Florida).

 

Carcharcles megalodon

                Today's great white shark, enlarged to C-Megs size

Adult C-Megs tooth...