Megalodon’s mortal attack on sperm whale revealed in ancient tooth

An illustration showing how the attack may have gone down, with a megatoothed shark biting the lower jaw of the sperm whale. (Image credit: Artwork by Tim Scheirer; Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (2021); CC BY 4.0)

Millions of years ago, an ancient sperm whale had a very, very bad day when a megatoothed shark — possibly the fearsome Otodus megalodon or its ancestor Otodus chubutensis, the largest predatory sharks that ever lived — viciously attacked it in what is now North Carolina, a new study suggests.

Marks from the attack, preserved as gouges out of the sperm whale’s tooth, are the first evidence in the fossil record that megatoothed sharks tussled with sperm whales, the researchers said.

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