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Millions of years ago, the megalodon ruled the oceans – why did it disappear?

Florida International University researcher Michael Heithaus answers a common question.

Michael Heithaus (Florida International University)

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Published: 12:30 PM EDT June 20, 2022
Updated: 1:53 PM EDT June 20, 2022

Editor's Note: The video above is from 2018.

When did the megalodon shark go extinct, and why? That's the question posed by 10-year-old Landon.

Imagine traveling back in time and observing the oceans of 5 million years ago.

As you stand on an ancient shoreline, you see several small whales in the distance, gliding along the surface of an ancient sea.

Suddenly, and without warning, an enormous creature erupts out of the depths.

With its massive jaws, the monster crushes one of the whales and drags it down into the deep. Large chunks of the body are ripped off and swallowed whole. The rest of the whales scatter.

You have just witnessed mealtime for megalodon – formally known as Otodus megalodon – the largest shark ever.

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