Megalodon Puts “Jaws” to Shame

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Artist Gary Staab assembles the massive megalodon. A scale model at the bottom right shows what the finished creature will look like. (Ryan Donnell)

Health Editor’s Note:  This would have been the biggest and most terrifying reason to not go into ancient oceans, if we had been around then. Not only huge but also with a mouth that could swallow you whole after first carefully chewing with those large razor triangles. It is easy to imagine a megalodon when looking at the great white shark of present times, which must resemble a baby megalodon…Carol 

Reimagining the Megalodon, the World’s Most Terrifying Sea Creature

by Arik Gabbi Smithsonian Magazine

The mighty megalodon, terror of the ancient oceans, could grow to 60 feet long, with a mouth stretching more than 9 feet wide and a bite-force stronger than any other creature ever, living or dead. The violent damage it caused to its prey, and the rows of serrated teeth, have given the shark the reputation of an enormous prehistoric Jaws—“a great white on steroids,” says Hans Sues, chair of paleobiology at the museum.

In fact, Sues says, evidence suggests that megalodons, which lived between 23 million and 3.6 million years ago, were more closely related to modern mako sharks than to great whites, giving them more slender bodies than great whites and a bronzy back befitting a predator that preferred coastal waters.

Plentiful megalodon teeth (and a number of calcified vertebrae) have been found in ancient seafloors that are now exposed—in the cliffs along the Chesapeake Bay, for example. Those fossils were all Staab was going to get: Like modern sharks, the megalodon’s skeleton was made from cartilage, which decomposes. So to design the model, he and his museum collaborators used a formula that extrapolates from tooth length and the body geometry of modern relatives, and found that his shark would be 24 feet across the front fins. “That’s the size of a Cessna,” he told me.

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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