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Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon), an extinct species of shark, lived around 23 to 2.6 million years ago, from the Early Miocene to the Late Pliocene. Once thought to be closely related to the great white shark (C. carcharias), it may be a member of the extinct family Otodontidae. It may have looked like a stocky great white, measuring at most 18 meters (59 ft), and averaging 10.5 metres (34 ft). Its large jaws exerted an estimated bite force of 108,500 to 182,200 newtons (24,400 to 41,000 lbf), coupled with thick teeth to grab large, struggling prey, crushing the heart and lungs of the marine mammals – mainly baleen whales – that it fed on in oceans around the world. It is thought that its decline was due to competition from other large predators (such as Livyatan), the ice ages, and the shift in whale populations. The shark has made appearances in media such as the Discovery Channel's docufiction Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. (Full article...)
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