Of Megalodons and Men: Reassessing the ‘Modern Survival’ of Otodus Megalodon

How to Cite

Greenfield, T. (2023). Of Megalodons and Men: Reassessing the ‘Modern Survival’ of Otodus Megalodon: Refuting the ‘modern survival’ of Otodus megalodon. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 37(3), 330-347. https://doi.org/10.31275/20233041


The megalodon, Otodus megalodon, is arguably the most renowned ancient shark because of its extreme size and carnivorous nature. Paleontologists overwhelmingly agree that it went extinct towards the end of the Pliocene. However, some cryptozoologists have proposed that it never died out. Their evidence for its modern survival consists of alleged post-Pliocene teeth and sightings of unknown sharks. The sightings were compiled and critically reviewed via a study-specific scoring system that assessed physical and contextual characteristics. Prior research showed that the teeth were inadequately dated and are of conventional age. Consistent with this finding, the coding results of the eyewitness reports strongly suggested that they involved hoaxes or misidentifications of known sharks. Altogether, there is no compelling evidence for extant O. megalodon and ample proof of its extinction. The progression of the notion of its survival and the relationship to cryptozoological biases and popular culture are accordingly discussed.

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