Megalodons became extinct about 3.6 million years ago. Much of what scientists know about them comes from studying their teeth. Like modern sharks, megalodons had skeletons mostly made of cartilage. That’s the tissue found in your ears and nose. It doesn’t usually turn into fossils like bones do. So, unlike dinosaurs, megalodons left no skeletons. Only their teeth survived.
Because of its massive size, the megalodon ate a lot of prey. Scientists say the shark’s jagged, knifelike teeth helped it rip apart sea creatures, such as giant whales and dolphins. “Megalodons were the apex predators of their time,” says scientist Sarah Boessenecker. “It probably ate anything that it could fit in its mouth.”
No wonder megalodon means “giant tooth!”