American Oceans

Megalodon vs Great White

The megalodon and the great white shark are two of the most fascinating creatures that have ever roamed the ocean.

a megalodon swimming underwater in a 3d rendering

While the megalodon is now extinct, it is still a subject of fascination for many people, and comparisons between the megalodon and the great white are often made.

Both sharks were apex predators in their respective times, but how do they compare in terms of size, diet, and behavior?

Read on below to learn more!

Comaprison of Megalodon and Great White Shark

a person holding a megalodon tooth fossil and a great white shark tooth side by side

When it comes to sharks, the megalodon and great white are two of the most well-known species.

While the megalodon went extinct millions of years ago, it is still fascinating to compare it to its modern-day counterpart, the great white shark.

Size Comparison

The megalodon was the largest shark species that ever lived, with a maximum length estimated to be around 60 feet.

In comparison, the great white shark is much smaller, with a maximum length of around 20 feet.

The megalodon was also much heavier than the great white, with an estimated weight of up to 100 tons.

Diet Comparison

Both the megalodon and great white are apex predators, but their diets were slightly different.

The megalodon primarily fed on whales, while the great white feeds on a variety of prey including seals, sea lions, dolphins, and even other sharks.

Researchers have found that the megalodon had a more diverse diet than previously thought, including porpoises, dolphins, and even sea turtles in addition to whales.

Behavior and Lifestyle Comparison

The megalodon and great white also had different behavior and lifestyles. The megalodon was likely a solitary predator, while the great white is known to hunt in groups.

The megalodon also had serrated teeth that were adapted for cutting through the tough skin and bones of its prey, while the great white has triangular teeth that are better adapted for gripping and tearing.

In terms of speed, both species were incredibly fast swimmers, with the megalodon estimated to have a top speed of around 35 miles per hour and the great white estimated to have a top speed of around 25 miles per hour.

Both species were also able to regulate their body temperature, allowing them to swim in a wide range of ocean temperatures.


an illustration of a diver alongside a megalodon

Megalodon, which means “big tooth,” was the largest shark species to ever exist, with its teeth reaching up to 7 inches in length.

It is estimated that megalodon grew to a maximum length of 60 feet and weighed up to 100 tons. In comparison, the great white shark, which is considered the largest living shark species, grows to a maximum length of 20 feet and weighs up to 5,000 pounds.

Megalodon had a robust body, a broad head, and a powerful jaw with serrated teeth that were designed to crush through the bones of its prey.

Its fins were large and triangular, and its tail was broad and powerful, allowing it to swim at high speeds.

Habitat and Distribution

Megalodon lived in warm ocean waters around the world during the Miocene epoch, which lasted from about 23 to 5.3 million years ago.

During this time, sea levels were higher than they are today, and the oceans were warmer, providing an ideal habitat for megalodon.

Diet and Hunting Strategies

Megalodon was an apex predator, meaning it was at the top of the food chain in its ecosystem. It fed on a variety of prey, including dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and whales.

Its hunting strategy involved ambushing its prey from below and using its powerful jaws and teeth to deliver a fatal bite.

Extinction and Fossil Record

Megalodon went extinct about 2.6 million years ago, at the end of the Pliocene epoch. The cause of its extinction is still a matter of debate among researchers.

Some theories suggest that changes in climate and sea level, as well as competition with other apex predators, may have contributed to its demise.

The fossil record of megalodon is rare, consisting mostly of teeth and a few vertebrae. However, these fossils have provided valuable information about the size, shape, and ecology of this extinct animal.

Recent research has also used isotopes to study the trophic position of megalodon and its relationship to other apex predators, such as the great white shark.

Great White Shark

Great White Shark hunting its prey underwater

The Great White Shark, also known as Carcharodon carcharias, is a large predatory fish that can grow up to 20 feet in length and weigh over 4,000 pounds.

They have a distinctive torpedo-shaped body with a pointed snout, large dorsal fin, and powerful tail. Great Whites have a grayish-blue color on their upper body and white underside, which helps them blend in with the ocean’s surface when viewed from above or below.

They are also known for their rows of serrated teeth, which can number up to 300 and are replaced throughout their lifetime.

Habitat and Distribution

Great White Sharks are found in all major oceans, from warm coastal waters to cold deep-sea regions. They prefer temperate waters with a temperature range of 54-75°F.

They are commonly found near shorelines, but they can also be found in open water.

Great Whites are known to migrate long distances, with some individuals traveling up to 12,400 miles per year.

Diet and Hunting Strategies

Great White Sharks are apex predators, which means they are at the top of the food chain. They are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of prey, including fish, squid, and marine mammals.

Their favorite prey is seals and sea lions, which they hunt by ambushing them from below. Great Whites are also known for their ability to breach the water’s surface and attack prey from above.

They have a powerful bite force of up to 18,000 newtons, which allows them to bite through bone and cartilage.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Great White Sharks are solitary animals and do not form social groups. They are known to be curious and intelligent, with some individuals displaying a level of intelligence that is comparable to that of dolphins.

Great Whites are also known for their migratory behavior, with some individuals traveling long distances to find food or mate.

They have a slow reproductive rate, with females giving birth to only a few pups every two years.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size difference between megalodon and great white sharks?

Megalodon was significantly larger than great white sharks. While the exact size of megalodon is unknown, estimates suggest that it could grow up to 60 feet in length, while great white sharks typically reach lengths of up to 20 feet.

How big are the teeth of a great white shark compared to megalodon?

The teeth of megalodon were much larger than those of great white sharks. A typical megalodon tooth could measure up to 7 inches in length, while the teeth of a great white shark are usually around 2-3 inches in length.

Where can I buy a great white shark tooth?

Great white shark teeth can be purchased from various online retailers, as well as from some brick-and-mortar stores that specialize in fossils and other natural history items.

Who would win in a fight, megalodon or orca?

It is impossible to say for certain who would win in a hypothetical fight between megalodon and orca. However, it is worth noting that orcas are known to hunt and kill great white sharks, which suggests that they may have some advantages in a fight against a large predator.

Is it possible for a great white shark to defeat a megalodon?

Given the size and strength of megalodon, it is unlikely that a great white shark would be able to defeat one in a fight. However, since megalodon is extinct, it is impossible to say for certain.

Did megalodon and great white sharks live during the same time period?

No, megalodon and great white sharks did not live during the same time period. Megalodon lived between 23 and 3.6 million years ago, while great white sharks first appeared around 16 million years ago.

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