Listicles Nature

10 Largest Ancient Sharks to Roam the Oceans

The earliest purported ancestors of sharks date back to the late Ordovician Period (450 million years ago), whose fossils’ consist of only scales. Some paleontologists believe that the first sharks inhabited the earth during the Silurian Period (420 million years ago).

Regardless of the claim, ancient sharks roamed the oceans way before the continents split up, where the first trees, insects, mammals or even dinosaurs had not come into existence. Ocean dwellers belonging to this class have survived all five mass extinctions.

The sharks that we see today are reckoned to be the results of evolution, which began about 100 million years ago.

Here is a rundown of the 10 largest ancient sharks to ever swim in our oceans.

1. Edestus giganteus

Edestus giganteus is an extinct species of shark also known as the scissor tooth shark. E. giganteus lived during the Late Carboniferous Period, 306 to 299 million years ago. These ancient sharks grew 20 feet in length and possessed teeth similar to that of pinking shears.

2. Helicorprion

The Helicoprion was a prehistoric shark that lived during the Early Permian Period to Early Triassic Period, 290 to 250 million years ago. They grew 30 feet in length and weighed 1000 pounds. These sharks crushed their prey with table saw like teeth.

3. Ptychodus

Ptychodus is a large ancient predator that preyed on molluscs, shellfish, crustaceans and invertebrates in Cretaceous seas, 112 to 70 million years ago. This prehistoric shark measuring 33 feet in length could crush hard shells with its powerful jaws.

4. Cretoxyrhina

Cretoxyrhina, also known as Ginsu shark is a large ancient shark that existed during the late Cretaceous Period, 100 to 75 million years ago. They measured 26 feet in length and weighed 2000 pounds. They preyed on archelons, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs and xiphactinus fish.

5. Cardabiodon

Cardabiodon is an extinct species of shark that roamed the Cretaceous seas, 95 to 91 million years ago. These ancient sharks grew 18 feet in length and were capable of swimming fast, owing to the presence of scales clad with grooves, which possessed kneels. They inhabited temperate waters.

6. Otodus

Otodus is a massive shark that dominated the oceans during the early-mid Paleogene Period, 60 to 45 million years ago. They grew 30 feet in length and weighed 2000 to 4000 pounds. These sharks feasted on whales, large bony fish and other sharks with their razor-sharp teeth.


7. Carcharocles auriculatus

Carcharocles auriculatus is an extinct species of prehistoric sharks that lived during the late Paleogene Period, 35 to 25 million years ago. These sharks reached up to 30 feet in length. C. auriculatus had large serrated teeth measuring 4.5 inches long with two large cusplets.

8. Carcharocles angustidens

Carcharocles angustidens are giant prehistoric sharks that lived during the late Paleogene Period to early Neogene Period, 33 to 20 million years ago. They measured around 31 feet in length with teeth measuring 4.6 inches long. C. angustidens preyed on dolphins, baleen whales, and penguins.

9. Carcharocles chubutensis

Carcharocles chubutensis is an extinct species of sharks that roamed the oceans during the late Paleogene Period to late Neogene Period, 28 to 5 million years ago. C. chubutensis grew 40 feet in length and teeth measuring 5.1 inches long. They preyed on whales, sea turtles and sea cows.

10. Megladon

Megladon is the largest shark of all time to have roamed the oceans during the Neogene Period, 23 to 3.6 million years ago. These gigantic sharks grew 50 to 78 feet in length and weighed 70 to 100 tons. They preyed on whales like Livyatan with their massive 7 inches long teeth.

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