Megalodon, meaning "big tooth", is an extinct species of mackerel shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago, from the Early Miocene to the Pliocene epochs. It was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae and a close relative of the great white shark. However, it is now classified into the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the great white shark during the Early Cretaceous. Its genus placement is still debated, with authors placing it in either Carcharocles, Megaselachus, Otodus, or Procarcharodon. This is because transitional fossils have been found showing that megalodon is the final chronospecies of a lineage of giant sharks originally of the genus Otodus which evolved during the Paleocene. While regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived, the megalodon is only known from fragmentary remains, and its appearance and maximum size are uncertain.

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What did Megalodon eat? Anything it wanted -- including other predators

Megalodon may have been higher up the food chain than any modern shark

Great white sharks may have driven megalodon to extinction

What caused this massive megalodon’s mega-toothache?

Great White Sharks May Have Played Role in Megalodon Extinction

Megalodon sharks may have been forced into extinction by great whites

Megalodon vs great white: New clues to demise of world’s largest shark

Great white sharks may have contributed to megalodon extinction

Great Whites May Have Contributed to Extinction of Megalodon Sharks

This Animal May Have Helped Drive The Fearsome Megalodon to Extinction

A Hunt Gone Wrong! What Caused This Megalodon Shark’s Massive Toothache?

6-year-old finds megalodon tooth on UK beach

Megalodon Grew to Larger Sizes in Cooler Waters: Study

We Have Cooler Waters To Thank For Super-Sized Megalodon

Cooler waters created super-sized Megalodon

Intriguing Pattern Discovered With Super-Sized Megalodon Sharks

Think You Know What Megalodon Looks Like? Think Again.

It's Official: New Study Shows We Have No Idea What Megalodon Really Looked Like

We Still Don’t Know What Megalodon Really Looked Like, Scientists Say

Mysterious Megalodon: No One Actually Knows What the Gigantic Shark Really Looked Like