The megalodon shark is a massive oceanic animal that existed at least 28 million years ago until it became extinct around 1.5 million years ago.
From information that was gathered about these sharks it is believed that the Megalodon was able to reach lengths of up to 60 ft. long and was equipped with sharp deadly teeth that could grow to lengths of over 7 inches long making them one of the most deadly predators against dolphins and whales.
The estimated weight of the Megalodon shark ranges from 60 tons to 115 tons.
In fact these sharks are so large that if they existed today they could easily swallow a person whole.
Although these sharks were massive they did not appear to frequent cool waters making them less likely to attack animals that lived in or near these types of enviornments.
Originally it was thought that these beasts were able to grow to lengths of up to 98 ft., however additional research has created new estimates that are closer to 45 – 60 ft. long.
Since these aquatic animals belong to the shark species they obtained oxygen through gills, however unlike other shark species that lay eggs externally the megalodon shark appeared to give birth to its young.
If the Megalodon Shark were alive today it is very unlikely that any whale or dolphin would be much of a threat or challenge to these animals, except perhaps the killer whale.
At lengths of up to 60 ft. long the Megalodon would be twice as large as the killer whale (one of the only cetaceans known to hunt and kill sharks and other marine mammals).
If the killer whale were to have any advantage over the Megalodon shark it would be due to the fact that these dolphins travel and hunt together in large packs and are known to use clever hunting techniques to avoid being injured while isolating and killing their prey.
In fact the killer whale is quite clever in the way it is able to wear out faster marine mammals to the point where they are unable to escape or fight back.
This can often be seen when a group of killer whales hunt a fast moving dolphin.
Rather than chasing the dolphin all at once and running out of energy the killer whales will space themselves apart and take turns chasing the dolphin until it is unable to escape due to exhaustion.
In regards to hunting sharks killer whales are known to distract them and sneak up on them to flip them on their back where they become paralyzed and unable to attack.
While they are aggressive and intelligent hunters it is uncertain how they would approach the megalodon if they were alive today, but it is possible that the killer whale may stand a chance against these large predators.
From research and evidence that has been collected on this species it appears that these sharks were known for hunting a variety of Cetacea and were considered the apex predators of their time.
In fact these large sharks hunted other smaller sharks, fish, dugongs, sea turtles and large whales as part of their primary/main diet and it is believed that when food became scarce they may have even hunted each other or other young megalodon sharks that were less protected and easier to capture.
In regards to why the megalodon no long exists it is believed that these massive sharks became extinct due to shortages in their food supply which eventually led adult Megalodon to hunt and kill one another for food, especially young and vulnerable Megalodon sharks.
In the battle of whether the Megalodon or Whale would dominate the ocean today, it’s likely that these massive sharks would win the battle with their long, sharp teeth and amazing crushing power.
While the megalodon was an apex predator it was not impervious to being harmed.
In fact there is at least one known species of prehistoric whale that was known to combat the meglaodon when they were being attacked or threatened.
This marine mammal is known as the squalodon.
The squalodon is an extinct species of whale that had a large beak with sharp serrated teeth.
What made these animals noteworthy competitors is the fact that they appear to have traveled in groups or pods and were fairly mobile.
When attacked by a megalodon shark the squalodon is believed to have gathered together to defend themselves and attack the megalodon in order to injure and weaken it.
In fact old fossil records of megalodon appear to show scarring from attacks made by squalodons.
Whether or not these attacks resulted in the direct or indirect death of the megalodon is unknown however there ability to fight as a group made them much more of an effective unit when protecting themselves from megalodon attacks.
In addition to fighting in groups the cranium of the squalodon appears to show evidence of prehistoric echolocation which may have helped these marine mammals identify incoming predators as well as coordinate attacks and defensive measures with other squalodons in their pod.
The reason for the squalodon becoming exinct is unknown however it is suggested that food competition from other marine mammals may have played a role in their exinction.
Unfortunately not much is known about other potential competitors that the megalodon may have faced as evidence and fossil records remain fairly scarce.
Modern day killer whales
As stated earlier the killer whale may have also been a worthy competitor due to their highly develop social structure and effective hunting methods.
As with the squalodon the killer whale lives and hunts with their pod and uses echolocation.
They are also very adaptive at learning and developing new hunting strategies when dealing with different types of prey.
Given their sophisticated behavior it is possible that the megalodon could become prey to the killer whale, however on a one on one encounter it is likely that the megalodon would come out as the reigning champion.