Where did the Megalodon live?

Where did the Megalodon live?

The Megalodon is known as one of the most impressive predators in the history of our earth. This shark, the Megalodon which appropriately enough translates to "big tooth" has dominated our waters for millions of years. In fact, the Megalodon lived 23 to 3.5 million years ago. This era is also known as the Miocene epoch to the Pliocene epoch.

Now the question naturally arises where this giant Megalodon lived, and what we actually know about its habitat. We will explore this with you and try to bring these mysteries to light.

A little bit about the history

How do we actually know so much about the Megalodon? This is of course an interesting question because, we don't actually know that super much about this giant shark yet. In most cases, we can only make assumptions and this is thanks to the few fossils we can find of this giant. This is because the Megalodon, like many other marine animals, was generally composed entirely of cartilage and this decays over the years. To date, we have only found teeth from the Megalodon and a few rare vertebrae. From these, scientists have created a kind of vision of what the Megalodon may have looked like, where it preferred to hang out, what diet the animal preferred and much more. For example, did you know that Megalodon teeth are found all over the world? From coastal areas to the deep waters. This gives us evidence, for example, that the Megalodon had a global distribution. The size and extent of the teeth (which could be as long as 17 centimetres) gives us an idea that the Megalodon must have been a giant monster and could have been as long as 18 metres. This assumption makes the Megalodon one of the largest and most powerful predators in our history.

The habitat of the Megalodon

As we mentioned earlier, the Megalodon was not bound to one place. In fact, the teeth of the Megalodon are found worldwide, from the Americas to Europe, Africa and Australia. These finds give us the idea that the Megalodon was able to survive in various climates and environments. What we have also discovered thanks to science is that the Megalodon preferred warm and shallow coastal waters to anything else. Here, after all, food was in abundance.

A desire for warmer waters

What we have found out thanks to science is as we mentioned earlier that the Megalodon preferred warmer waters over anything else. Indeed, we can deduce this from the fact that smaller Megalodon teeth are often found in coastal areas. The reason could be that the Megalodon had its young born at the coastal areas. Megalodon young were active at an early age, it is even said that they engaged in cannibalism as early as in the belly of the Megalodon mother. Megalodon babies were safer in coastal areas where predators were scarce but food abundant

Food sources and hunting behaviour

The Megalodon was known to hunt whale species, seal species and large fish. The width and strength of the Megalodon's jaws enabled it to deliver incredibly deadly bites. Thanks to the saw-like teeth the Megalodon had, it could easily tear its prey to the bone. Fossils of whales are still sometimes found that clearly show bite marks of the Megalodon.

How did the Megalodon go extinct?

This is a question that still keeps us and science busy. Although the exact reason for the Megalodon's extinction is still a big mystery to everyone, we do have a small theory, a coherent theory. It has to do with the ice age and the fact that the Megalodon mainly preferred the warmer waters. Around the Pliocene epoch, we have documented an ice age. This ice age combined with the disappearance of food, whether through extinction, evolution or relocation or not, might have cost the Megalodon everything.

Climate change

As we mentioned earlier, the end of the Pliocene was marked by significant cooling of the earth. This led to the ice ages of the Pleistocene. This climate change had a major impact on the overall ecosystem. You could say that the Megalodon's preferred habitats, i.e. warmer waters changed thanks to the ice age. This obviously had a big impact on available food and space.

Competition and evolution

While this whole process was going on, other predators such as the orca's ancestor and other shark species presumably gained an emergence. These animals might have evolved better and therefore could cope better with the new conditions. This enabled them to compete with the Megalodon for food. These changes probably made things incredibly difficult for the Megalodon.


We at have a great fascination for our extinct basking shark. This is due to its strength, size, impressive fossils but also the lifestyle the animal has had. Because we can follow scientists and do our own research on this fascinating shark, we discover more and more impressive facts about the Megalodon. By following studies, we gain more and more insights into its habitats, diet, lifestyle and so much more. So we are incredibly happy to share this with you.

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