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Carcharodon Megalodon

For those of you who don't know, this was a prehistoric shark that was most likely related to the great white shark...only this shark was a monster. Scientists argue about it's length, which they debate is between 45-120ft. They speculate it's size by the teeth, which get 7-8 inches long. It was first believed to have died out millions of years ago...until we found two unfossilized megalodon teeth that aged about 10,000 years (http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf074/sf074b08.htm). Now some people believe it became extinct 10,000 years ago. Some people think it still exists. I'm one of them. Besides, how can you base when the megalodon became extinct on just two teeth that may have belonged to just one individual of the species?
Experts say the Ice Age might have wiped them out, due to colder water. I disagree. Not only do the recently found teeth disprove the claim, but we also know sharks live in cold water. The sleeper shark and Greenland shark, for example, are closely related sharks that thrive in polar waters year round. They can reach lengths up to 25 feet long, and live in water as deep as 6,500ft below the surface. The basking shark, which can grow as long as 45 feet, lives in waters near Newfoundland. Also, we have discovered that the great white shark, a close relative of the megalodon, travels in 40 degree water, 2,000 feet below the surface (http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2002/january9/sharks-19.html). This article also states how these sharks are able to live in cold waters. Theyre warm bodied, meaning they can keep their internal temperature at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Megalodons most likely had this ability too. In addition, it is a known fact that colder water has a higher amount of oxygen in it. Wouldn't you think a massive fish, like a meg, would prefer colder waters then?
Scientists also state that due to the Ice Age, whale migration patterns changed, which had the whales traveling in waters far too cold for megalodons. This apparently led to their extinction as well. I also disagree on this claim. We know great white sharks love eating seals. Is that the only thing they eat? Their diet also consists of fish, rays, other sharks, small-toothed whales, otters, squid, dolphins, sea turtles, carrion, even crabs. Lets say all of the planet's seals traveled out of reach of the great white shark. I think it could find something else to eat.
There have also been sightings of rather large unidentified sharks, in addition to the statement of large sharks with short dorsal fins, made in my first link on this page. If anyone has looked into information about sharks, especially megs, they most likely came across this article in either a book or website(http://members.tripod.com/~Megalodon2001/ismegalive.html). It describes a report on fishermen who saw a 115 foot long pale shark near Broughton Island, in 1918. Another sighting in the 1960's occurred near Australia's Great Barrier Reef, where they saw a pale colored shark about 100 feet long. These could possibly be megalodons. There have also been several reports of sonar picking up massive life forms in deep areas of ocean. For example, the "Bloop" (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/06/13/bloop/). Although the theme of this article is a giant squid, a marine biologist states in it that the "bloop" most likely isn't a squid. It most likely isn't a specie of whale either, because if the U.S Navy was so "baffled" about it, I'd think they would look for something to come up for air in that area. Obviously nothing strange enough to make that kind of sonar reading did. If it isn't a cetacean or a large invertebrate such as a squid, what's left to look at besides a giant fish?
Only 5% of the ocean depths have been explored. I think a few megalodons can be in that 95%.

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But do you have any evidence that they still exist, other than the fact that you wish they did? And if not, why do you say "I think they exist" rather than "I hope they exist"? I mean, I can't prove that Atlantis isn't still thriving in an underwater dome, and that would be super neat if it was, but I don't *think* it is.

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Well there's no evidence that they exist. If we did have that evidence, they wouldnt be on the "extinct" list. However, we do know that the prehistoric shark, the japanese frilled shark, is still alive in extremely deep water. Also, theres another specie of shark that actually still has the prehistoric dorsal fin structure, where theres a spike in front of the actual fin. I'm pretty sure it also lives in deep water. Sharks have the ability to go from surface waters to the ocean floor. We know that there were plenty of surface disturbances since the dawn of time (meteor strikes, Ice Age, etc...). Don't you think sharks would go deep to escape these events? Maybe thats the case with these sharks, and they got used to their new environment. And like I said, only about 5% of the ocean depths has been explored. I think it's kind of ignorant to close-mindedly refute the possibility of ANY type of fish living down there, prehistoric or modern day, especially a shark, the top predator of the seas that's been here since the dawn of time and that's able to adapt to any marine ecosystem. The only areas of ocean we havent seen sharks are the ones we havent explored yet, and chances are, theyre there. I've done research, and I just have a hard time believing that the megalodon just simply went extinct, and so do some scientists. So I have my reasons to THINK they exist.

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By the way, that other deep water shark with the dorsal spine present is the spiny dogfish. It lives as deep as 2,400 feet below the surface. But that isn't the only one. The longnose spurdog also lives at that depth, the port jackson shark lives 800ft deep, the roughskin dogfish lives 700-1,970ft deep, and the cuban dogfish lives 1,140ft deep. All of which have the primitive fin structure, like hybodus, tristychius, and cladoselache, which are prehistoric sharks. In fact, paleontologists even say tristychius looked like a modern day dogfish, and the illustration in the book I have does look like one.

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And yet you still say you *think* they exist, even without any evidence. Sure, there are other animals with ancient phylogenies that exist. But unless you have anything to suggest that the megalodon exists, you are putting your reputation on the line based on your hope. None of the other things you pointed out indicate AT ALL that the megalodon exists, or even probably exists. Don't you think that makes you a bit credulous?

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Dont you think living with the mentality, "I don't see them, so they don't exist", is a bit close-minded? I pointed out that we found teeth that aged about 10,000 years. That means that the shark survived the last Ice Age. If the species survived the Ice Age, the event that supposedly wiped them out, then it should still be living today. I pointed out facts that would be reasons why it would survive. Obviously I don't have evidence that it's alive today, or I wouldnt be having this discussion.

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Hey Tom,
What do you think of this?
http://web.ncf.ca/bz050/megalodon.html
I don't know if you have read it before, but I found it a good read.

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Yeah, I've read it.

"the enormity of the alleged shark sighted is absurd, even if exaggerated by shock."
I don't think it was 115ft either. But if you saw a jumbo sized version of a great white, I think you would be exaggerating the length too, even if it was actually around 60ft.

"deep-sea sharks certainly are not white---in fact most are uniformly dark, both on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of their bodies."
The Greenland shark and goblin shark are both deep sea sharks of considerable sizes that are a pale color.

"It seems instilled in the minds of many that a dark environment results in white animals. While this is the case in many cave animals and a few deep-sea creatures, lack of pigmentation is certainly not a general feature of deep-sea animals."
Um, yes it is. Either translucient, pale, or white pigmentation. This guy needs to get his facts straight.

I believe the 1918 sighting was a megalodon. The second sighting does seem to be a whale shark. The third sighting down is interesting though. A "barnacled creature"? Sharks don't get barnacles, due to their dermal denticles. Could it have been a whale chasing krill or shrimp to the surface, which is why the seagulls would be attracted to the spot?

"His first piece of evidence is sonar trackings by “one of the new breed of underwater exploratory vehicles” of an unidentifiable object about 100 ft (30 m) long that was travelling faster than any submarine. The absurdity of this account---which supposedly serves as evidence for C. megalodon survival---will not be commented upon."
Sounds like this guy is more like getting off on disclaiming the survival of megalodons rather than looking at it rationally and scientifically. Of course this isnt absolute evidence that they exist. However, we cant rule anything out when it comes to an unidentified animal of this size. Couldve been a megalodon. Couldve been a giant squid. Couldve been something else.

"some have even been found that are a whitish colour (Richard Martin, pers. comm.), possibly a result of geographical and/or biogeochemical variability of the concentration of certain precipitating elements. Such features could conceivably trick an untrained observer (neither Whitley nor Stead were paleontologists) into thinking the teeth were unfossilized."
Doesn't sound too sure of himself. Besides, I haven't found a legit website (besides this "expert's" work)yet saying that those two teeth werent aged around 10,000 years.

I've seen the article about the Rachel Cohen around other websites too. I believe it's real. The propellers would give off enough of a disturbance in the water to attract a large shark such as a young meg. It probably did a testbite, realized the boat wasnt edible, then swam off.

"Ever since the megamouth shark (Fig. 4) was accidentally discovered tangled up in a U.S. Navy deep-sea anchor in 1976, cryptozoologists have been keen on using it to point out that the oceans can still harbour large species unknown to man."
I agree.

"However, the comparison of the megamouth with C. megalodon , or almost any other marine cryptid, is illogical."
I disagree. Like I said in the beginning, only a small percentage of the ocean depths has been explored. There could be a 300ft long fish (not that there really is) down there and we may never see or detect it.

It sounds like this person has a preconceived idea, and is trying to find evidence to support it. Not very scientific, huh?
I'll respond to the rest of that article later.

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"Simply put, all available evidence suggests that C. megalodon inhabited tropical waters and, like the extant white shark, was a coastal species (Purdy 1996). It was not a deep-sea inhabitant that fed on giant squids (Architeuthis sp.), as envisioned by many proponents of C. megalodon survival (e.g. Clark 1968; Shuker 1995). A creature as large and adapted to a coastal, warm and food-rich marine habitat as C. megalodon could not survive in the cold, food-poor deep-sea."
I beg to differ. We found fossilized megalodon teeth in MODERN DAY tropical waters. That's the only evidence we have on where they lived exactly in the ocean. One problem though. Tectonic plates constantly shift and climates constantly change. What may be "tropical" and shallow today may not have been back then. Besides, a large, active fish like a megalodon would need a significant amount of oxygen intake. Cold water is more oxygenated than warm water. The megalodon's relative, the great white, actually eats infrequently, even though it looks like it would have to constantly eat. If the megalodon was (or possibly, is) related to the great white shark, then it wouldnt need to constantly stay near a food supply. Also, the great white shark travels in deep water that's ten degrees away from freezing. Like I said, if the megalodon is related, it should also be able to live in cold, deep water.

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Tom,
This guys credentials are pretty good and I don’t believe his preconceived ideas are any stronger than yours. But I’m no expert…here’s a thought - e-mail him! See if you can explain things to him, or maybe the other way around.
bspeersr@uoguelph.ca

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True...I will in a few days when I have time.

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Tom said: "Dont you think living with the mentality, "I don't see them, so they don't exist", is a bit close-minded?"

Nice strawman. There are many things that I don't see that I am certain exist, such as electrons. However, you have no evidence for megalodons (which, to your credit, you freely admit), and yet you say that you think they exist. If your criteria for thinking something exists is zero evidence, then don't you think that everything exists? Do you think T. rex still exists? You have the same amount of evidence for both.

It is better to state, tentatively, that the evidence suggests that the megalodon is extinct, but noting that the conclusion (like all conclusions based on science) is tentative and subject to revision upon receipt of additional evidence.

And while I am not a paleontologist, I do know a little about inorganic chemistry. The rate of manganese dioxode deposition is highly dependent on the chemical context of the reaction, and is therefore probably a very bad way to date things. You would be better off using invariable phenomena, such as radionucleide decay. So saying that the teeth are 10,000 years old based on the amount of manganese oxide is probably a poor way to do it.

Also, even if these teeth are 10,000 years old, they were found in 100' of water, suggesting that megalodons were recently found in relatively shallow water. Therefore, there should be more seen now.

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"Also, even if these teeth are 10,000 years old, they were found in 100' of water, suggesting that megalodons were recently found in relatively shallow water. Therefore, there should be more seen now."
Not necessarily, if theyre nocturnal hunters like some sharks.

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So, Tom, you're saying that there is no fishing at night?

Sorry, but you are demonstrably wrong. People can and do fish at night, and at depths that would be capable of easily catching a shark that hunts at less than 100' depth.

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Okay well you stick to the book with the 5% of the ocean we know and ill think on a broader spectrum. We keep finding new marine species. Scientists estimate that there are more species down there yet to be discovered than all of the animals we know exist. Sorry that I think a prehistoric shark might still exist. How ridiculous of me.

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“True…I will in a few days when I have the time.”

Just curious, did you ever contact him? Or are you pretty much set in your belief?
Here it is again, so you won’t even have to scroll! bspeersr@uoguelph.ca

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no, i havent yet. Ive been busy moving and transferring jobwise. when i settle in ill do the email.

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But Tom, we're not talking about the abyssal depths. We're talking about 100' of water. We've got divers, lure fishers, net fishers, etc. And you're not talking about a species of coral or a small darter fish. You're talking about a ginormous predator that would have to eat huge amounts of food.

C'mon. You think that there is some tiny chance they might exist. Fine, I'll concede that. There's a tiny chance that Neanderthals still exist, too. But that's not how you come off; you argue that there is a significant probability that it exists. Why? You're only evidence is that we haven't kicked over every underwater stone, and that you think they're really cool.

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"But Tom, we're not talking about the abyssal depths. We're talking about 100' of water."
Well yeah...10,000 years ago. It couldve just passed through the area at the time. It doesnt mean we'd see one now at that depth. Plenty of catastrophic events happened that couldve drove the species to deeper parts (k-t event, Ice Age, that meteor strike over canada that supposedly wiped out the mammoths, the volcanic super-eruption that occured in the Phillipines.).

"C'mon. You think that there is some tiny chance they might exist. Fine, I'll concede that. There's a tiny chance that Neanderthals still exist, too."
Well we're more certain that the Neanderthal doesnt exist anymore, since almost every part of land on the globe is inhabited by people. Most likely we wouldve seen one by now. However, like I said, only 5% of the ocean depths has been explored.

"You're only evidence is that we haven't kicked over every underwater stone, and that you think they're really cool."
I'll give you that. I think theyre fascinating animals. The grandaddies of natures most efficient, adaptive killing machine. But that's exactly the point: adaptive. Why did it go extinct? Because it couldnt get to whales? It most certainly couldve found other food sources. Because it was too cold? they couldve traveled to the warmer, southern hemisphere, or went deep. They werent confined to the ground like other animals that got wiped out. Something just doesnt add up.

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Oh and I emailed that guy a few days ago. he hasnt replied.

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Tom said: >Well yeah...10,000 years ago. It couldve just passed through the area at the time. It doesnt mean we'd see one now at that depth. Plenty of catastrophic events happened that couldve drove the species to deeper parts (k-t event, Ice Age, that meteor strike over canada that supposedly wiped out the mammoths, the volcanic super-eruption that occured in the Phillipines.).

There has not been an ice age, k-t event, major meteor strike, super-eruptions, or other global catastrophes in the past 10,000 years. We have human proto-civilizations that date back further than that in Mesopotamia. I'll say it again; if the teeth you claimed were 10,000 years old were indicative of megalodon activity, then we should still see them today. We don't.

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"There has not been an ice age, k-t event, major meteor strike, super-eruptions, or other global catastrophes in the past 10,000 years."
I'm aware of that. The teeth possibly being 10,000 years old shows they possibly survived these events that happened LATER THAN 10,000 years ago.

"I'll say it again; if the teeth you claimed were 10,000 years old were indicative of megalodon activity, then we should still see them today. We don't."
And I'll say it again: the teeth were dropped there 10,000 years ago. Thats a long time, which means they still wouldnt be in that exact same spot. It takes alot to wipe out a specie of shark, considering theyre highly adaptive predators that are impervious to ocean depths and pressures. Like I said in the plesiosaur debate, we only started filming giant squid a few years ago, and yet we thought before that they were a myth. Like you stated, "never say never". I'd see why no one would get funding to investigate the possible existence of these animals though. Just think how boardwalks, fishing boat rentals, beach house rentals, etc. would economically crash if word got out that 60+ft versions of great white sharks actually existed...

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Hi Tom,

I'm a Marine Biologist and would like to say that I agree with you. I argue with people most days about these creatures and their modern existence but not only want to believe that they exist but also do believe it.

There are so many animals that we haven't found yet, the majority of which are in the sea. Commercial fishermen catch unknown species everyday but throw them back if they are not in essential in the catch that they are paid for. I'm obviously not saying that the Megalogon is in one of these catches, but it just shows that there are thousands of species out there that aren't known to us. Even the tsunami's brought up hundreds of 'wierd' fish that we didn't know existed because the wave originated from the sea bed and brought up with it lots of fish that we hadn't researched yet.

But the majority of people are disagreeing with you so I just thought that some support might help. I realise that posts haven't been 'posted' for a year or so but hopefully you're still checking this site and I'd love to e-mail about the research you've done. I'm relatively new to the researching of sharks as I specialise in whales and dolphins so I'm sure you'll be able to tell me a thing or two!

I look forward to hearing from you.

How you found this site: Yahoo search for "Rachel Cohen Megalodon"

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Hello all... found this on another website. Just wondered what you all thought about it??

Giant Shark - Megladon in the Indian Ocean?
Giant Shark 75-85 foot long - Megladon is a live and well in the Indian Ocean
This sighting is by a serving US sailor therefore we have removed all identifying references, at his request. Let me introduce myself my name is XXXXXXXX I'm a Petty Officer in the US Navy based in XXXXXXX. I have been in the service now for 15 years out of those 15 years 12 have been on active sea commands. I have been on 4 ships with a total out to sea time of 9 years (That's underway steaming).

I recently saw an episode of your series and browsed your web page. And thought I might share a story with you that happened in 99 when I was stationed on the USS XXXXX. You will have to forgive me if I leave out the exact Latitude and Longitude and only give a general location since some of this is still sensitive. I was assigned to the VBSS (visit board search and seizure) Team on the XXXXX, our job was to board all ships suspected of smuggling oil out of Iraq during the UN embargo while Saddam was still in power. We had boarded an Indian Registered vessel transiting out bound from the straits of Hormuz and were escorting the vessel back to Goa to turn it over to the Indian Navy. We were pulling 12 hour security shifts onboard (To prevent them from scuttling the vessel). I can't give the exact date but it occurred in Jan 00.

We were pulling shift it was around 1030 AM. There were 6 of us on security shift and three of us were on the focastle of the ship when we heard this loud splashing sound not just a small splash but a long drawn out one like something thrashing around. We looked over the railing of the ship to see the Large Pod of dolphins that had been following us for days going crazy!! Jumping out of the water and flying across the water madly. We were amused at first thinking they were in a feeding frenzy when the largest dorsal fin I have ever seen broke the water and was chasing after the dolphins.

At first I thought maybe it was a whale due to its huge bulk we could see the back of this thing and some of its body. The fin it's self was over 10 Ft tall. Well the whale theory went out the window when I saw the head of this thing. I grew up in the Florida Keys I have seen Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks, Lemons, Dusky's, And so on. This was a shark plain and simple!!! The head of this shark resembled that of a Tiger Shark the nose was blunted like a Tigers but not as flat and rounded almost to the tip. This shark's head came out of the water and came down and we watched this thing munching on a dolphin as it turned back to the pod.

Our RHIB (Ridged hull inflatable boat) came around from the fantail of the ship to see what was going on and hit the wake of this thing and actually caught air and came down. We were yelling at them that it was a shark and we were telling them to fall back to the ship. But of course they didn't do it. And went over to the where the pod used to be where they could see the out line of the shark. When they got close the shark turned creating a wake that almost swamped the boat and the shark turned and went right under the boat. The Boat engineer was so scared he actually fired three rounds at the shark from his Rifle (M14) Hoping it would scare away the shark and it just went right by them towards us and went down. We never saw it again. It was the wildest thing I have ever seen out to sea. I've seen some big sharks before. Whale sharks 40 Ft + Tigers 15+ but this was the largest I have ever seen.

It was 75+ if it was an inch!!!

Once we reported it and got back to the ship the Officer of the Deck told us it was just a whale that's all. A whale eating a dolphin with a large dorsal fin and a shark shaped head huh??? One of my team mates was a sonar tech by trade so he went to sonar control and pulled the readings up. They had tracked it coming up from 250 Fathoms since that's what they had the computers set on after they tracked it they adjusted the settings and lost it at 1040 Fathoms.

The computer read it at 87 Ft long. Now you tell me what that was?? I would never send this to anyone had I been by myself but there was witnesses and records showing this. Thank you for listening to me. If you could please not use my name or location to anyone when reference this I don't think the Navy would like that to much.

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I was Wondering Tom where would you think are possible sites where Carcharodon Megalodon might be still living? And Why?

How you found this site: LivingDinos.com

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How Long Did The Animal stay there?

How you found this site: LivingDinos.com

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When I first posted this, I thought Megalodons may be living in deeper waters, like in the Pacific. Now I've been doing further research, and as much as I'd like them to exist, I no longer believe they do. For one reason. During the time megalodons apparently went extinct, a polar magnetic reversal took place on this planet. That temporarily distorts magnetic fields on this planet. I believe that a fish that relied so much on familiar magnetic waves the planet gave off was stressed out to extinction by the sudden change. And that wasn't the only animal that went extinct: about 75% of the planets species at the time went extinct too.

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I've Heard that the great white and the mako shark are close relatives, if they survived the polar change why not the megalodon?

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I haven't been reading this post for awhile. I just read Diane's post and Steve's. Diane, I would love to discuss the subject with you. Steve, is that all the information you can give me? That must've been a sight to see though. And yes, makos and great whites are related to that specie, but I don't believe they were around during that time. I may be mistaken though.

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That was everything i could get from the web site. Here's the link. http://animalxtv.blogspot.com/..

would be interesting to know more (if it is true mind..) about this encounter!

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