How Big Was Megalodon?

Thanks for visiting STEM Club! Learning about prehistoric life through fossils is one of our favorite things to do in the Brainfuel STEM Club, and we’d love to have you join us!

shark illustration

World’s Largest Shark!

Sharks today are some of the most effective predators in the ocean, but according to the fossil record, sharks used to be even more formidable.

Sharks can still grow really big, but millions of years ago they grew really, really big. The largest shark scientists have identified is called the megalodon, and it’s estimated to have lived between 2.6 and 23 million years ago.

Fossilized megalodon teeth, shown with a penny for size comparison.

Fossilized megalodon teeth, shown with a penny for size comparison.

Two School Busses Long!

Most researchers agree that fully grown megalodons measured somewhere between 33 feet long and 58 feet long. But some scientists suggest that these humongous sharks could grow as large at 82 feet. That’s almost as long as two school busses parked end-to-end!

Megalodon Means Big Tooth

Megalodon teeth were massive, too. Fossilized specimens have been found to be around three-times as big as modern great white shark teeth. The photo below shows a fossilized megalodon tooth next to a modern great white shark tooth.

Fossilized megalodon tooth (left) and great white shark tooth (right).

Fossilized megalodon tooth (left) and great white shark tooth (right).