Megalodon (/ˈmɛɡəloʊˌdɒn/ meg-ə-lə-don, /ˈmeɪɡə-/ may-gə-; meaning “big tooth”, from Ancient Greek: μέγας (megas) “big, mighty” and ὀδoύς (odoús), “tooth”—whose stem is odont-, as seen in the genitive case form ὀδόντος, odóntos) is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 2.6 million years ago, during the Cenozoic Era (early Miocene to end of Pliocene).
The taxonomic assignment of C. megalodon has been debated for nearly a century, and is still under dispute.
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- Scientific name: Carcharodon megalodon
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Family: Lamnidae or †Otodontidae
- Rank: Species
- Phylum: Chordata
- Did you know: Megalodon hunted large and medium-sized whales, attacking the bony areas, such as chest, fins, or tail.