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Megalodon, the biggest carnivorous fish that's ever lived.

Sea Monsters: Into the Jaws of Death

The Megalodon ("Big Tooth") was a large shark that lived from the Miocene to Pleistocene epochs. It was the largest predatory fish to ever exist.

Creature attributes

Physical appearance and biology

Measuring as large as 30 feet (9 meters) to 53 feet (16 meters) in length and weighing more than 50 tons, Megalodon, being a member of the same genus as the great white shark, closely resembled one but was far larger. Some specimens of Megalodon have been estimated to reach sizes in excuss of 59 feet (18) in length and weighed around 70 tons. It had several rows of sharp, serrated teeth within a pair of jaws that could deliver a crippling bite.

Megalodon also had a tall dorsal fin, large pectoral fins and a large and powerful caudal fin but its anal fins were small. Its body was grey and its underbelly was white, most likely to serve as camouflage.

Behaviour and traits

Megalodon were solitary animals as they were large enough to hunt game independently. However, whilst adults hunted large prey in the open oceans, juveniles survived in the shallow waters, hunting smaller prey. There, the adolescents would mainly hunt small cetaceans like Odobenocetops. A fully grown Megalodon would hunt whales.

A special adaptation that Megalodon evolved was a protective membrane which was located at the back of its eyes. When attacking its prey, it would roll its eyes to reveal the membrane. Sight would not be necessary in an attack as its sense of smell would steer it towards its prey. Megalodon's sense of smell was incredibly powerful. They could detect blood from miles away.

In Sea Monsters

Into the Jaws of Death

A juvenile Megalodon was seen swimming above Nigel Marven and an Odobenocetops who was foraging for oysters in some kelp. By taking cover in the foliage, they were able to avoid being caught by the shark.

Later, Nigel and his crew crafted a model Odobenocetops and filled it with squid to entice an adolescent Megalodon. With the camera fitted into the model, it was able to capture the moment when an adolescent Megalodon accelerated from the depths and tore the model apart.

Megolodon in front of Nigel's cage

Later on The Ancient Mariner, Nigel and his crew prepared for a dive with an adult Megalodon. As they lowered a chum bag into the water and spilled a concoction of blood and fish oil into the water, the scent attracted a huge adult Megalodon. As Nigel swam into a shark cage, the Megalodon came into view.

With a shark camera in hand, Nigel tried to pin it onto the shark's dorsal fin but he was unable to reach it. As Nigel's crew teased the Megalodon by continuously raising and dropping the chum bag into the water, the Megalodon became more frisky, attacking Nigel's cage in frustration.

Realising that trying to attach the camera from the cage was a lost cause, he escaped the cage and attempted to attach the camera from The Ancient Mariner. However, whilst doing so, the Megalodon jumped out the water and presumably ate Nigel.

To Hell... and Back?

Continuing from the previous episode, it was revealed that the Megalodon didn't eat Nigel, it just knocked him off the metal platform he was standing on. Scared out of his skin, Nigel darted out of the water and once again tried to pin the camera to the Megalodon's dorsal fin. However, this time Nigel actually succeeded.

Nigel's crew detached the chum bag from the boat and allowed the Megalodon to eat it. As it did so, it swam off.

Days later, the camera that was attached to the Megalodon emerged from the water. Using a tracking device, Nigel was able to track down the whereabouts of the camera. When he and his crew watched the recorded footage, they watched the Megalodon hunt a large whale. The force of the attack knocked off the camera.


Behind the scenes

Megalodon's model was reused for Squalicorax in To Hell... and Back?.

Stock footage of Megalodon from its Sea Monsters appearance was reused for the episode Awesome Ancestors of the Animal Planet series The Most Extreme.


  • Megalodon belonged to the family Otodontidae, a different family of sharks than the modern great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias).
  • The actual binomial name of megalodon is disputed. Some have classified it as a subgenus of the shark Otodus (Otodus (Megaselachus) megalodon), others have classified it as a member of the genus Carcharocles (Carcharocles megalodon), still others have classified it as a member of the genus Selache (Selache manzonii). The most correct name is now Otodus (Megaselachus) Megalodon.
  • Megalodon's appearance may not have been similar to that of the great white. It is also likely to have resembled a basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) or ragged-toothed shark (Carcharias taurus).
  • The Megalodon shown in Chased by Sea Monsters is smaller than the actual animal (a rare occurence as the Walking with Series usually makes the animal bigger). It is portrayed as being smaller than the Tylosaurus and massively oversized Liopleurodon. In reality it was the biggest of these creatures and was possibly the largest apex predator to have ever lived.

List of appearances

Notes and references