By now it is likely you have seen the trailer for the upcoming sequel to the 2018 Monster shark movie “The Meg” – The Meg 2: The Trench. it opens, like the series of Novels by Steve Alten, with a huge megalodon launching out of the water onto a beach and on a snacking T-Rex to make it a meal of its own.
This has spawned a whole host of questions about whether a Megalodon could really eaten a T-Rex, and what would happen if these two Apex predators did actually go at it tooth to tooth. We take a look at two main questions below.
- Could a Megalodon have eaten a T-Rex
- Would a Megalodon have eaten a T-Rex
The Megalodon, an enormous prehistoric shark, and the T-Rex, a giant terrestrial dinosaur, never coexisted. They lived in different time periods and habitats. Megalodons lived millions of years after T-Rex’s extinction. It is scientifically impossible for a Megalodon to have encountered, let alone eaten a T-Rex.
and that answer is not as straightforward as it first seems. So we will take a look firstly at the science behind if a megalodon could have eaten a T-Rex, then putting aside that fairly simple answer, we take a look at what would happen if these two great predators did actually meet both on land and in the water! and if a Meg could have eaten a T-Rex
Imagine for a moment, two of the most ferocious creatures to ever roam the earth – the Megalodon, a colossal marine predator, and the T-Rex, a formidable land-dwelling dinosaur. What if these two monsters met face-to-face, would a Megalodon have eaten a T-Rex?
It’s a fascinating thought, isn’t it? However, it’s important to understand that these two creatures lived in vastly different times and environments and in this article, we’re going to explore the world of these prehistoric giants, the scientific facts about them, and indulge in a bit of speculation about what might happen if they ever did encounter each other like the opening of the Meg 2: The Trench suggests
Could a Megalodon have eaten a T-Rex: The Science
Geological Time and Environmental Differences
The Megalodon and T-Rex did not exist in the same period. The T-Rex roamed the earth during the Mesozoic Era, around 68 to 66 million years ago, while the Megalodon swam in the world’s oceans much later, in the Cenozoic Era, approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago. Thats a gap of at least 43 million years and fossils discovered and aged of both Megalodon and Tyrannosaurus prove this beyond any reasonable doubt.
So while the opening shots of the Meg 2: The Trench are both cool and impressive they could never have happened in real life. There is just to much time between the two prehistoric predators to even have any doubt that in real life a Meg could not have eaten a T-Rex.
That’s not to say that marine and land dinosaurs did not cross paths, just that marine predator was not a Megalodon, however, there is evidence of other sharks eating dinosaurs. In fact the National Geographic has an article (linked here) that discusses a set of hadrosaur back bones ( vertebrae) that have bite marks that are very likely to have come from a shark.
The current consensus is that the hadrosaur died and was then scavenged and eaten by sharks while it floated in the sea, not hunted – although of course you never know! maybe they jumped from the surfline and grabbed it just like the Meg did to the T-Rex in the Meg 2 trailer as well.
Either way sharks would have eaten a T-rex or any other dinosaur body they would find in the sea.
Mesozoic and Cenozoic Era
These eras were characterized by different climates and geography.
- The Mesozoic Era was a time when dinosaurs dominated, and land masses were moving towards their current positions.
- The Cenozoic Era, on the other hand, saw the rise of mammals and modern plant life, with continents roughly in the positions we see them today.
The differences in these eras meant that the habitats and lifestyles of the Megalodon and T-Rex were significantly different although they both occupied the top of the food chain in their respective periods.
We take a look at these two predators in the following sections, including comparisons between the two in terms of biology and environment.
Megalodon: The Largest Shark Ever.
The Megalodon was an absolute titan of the seas. Its name literally means “big tooth,” and for good reason. This prehistoric shark was significantly larger than any shark we know today, reaching lengths of up to 60 feet or more – about three times the size of a great white shark. We have more on the Megalodons impressive size here on the site ( you can follow the link)
The Megalodon in the Meg 2, at least the one that eats the T-Rex is larger than even this with a mouth that would have to be over 15-20 feet wide (we think) to be able to grab the T-Rex in the way it did in the trailer. On our back of a notepad calculations this mean it would have been over 100 feet long. to be clear there have been no suggestions from science or palaeontology that Megalodon was ever able to grow this big
Megalodon’s diet consisted mainly of large marine mammals, such as whales, and unlike many other predators it hunted animals bigger than it as well as smaller. This shark had a bite force that could crush a car, and its speed and agility in the water made it a terrifying predator.
Its massive teeth, some reaching over 7 inches in length, were designed for grabbing prey and breaking bone, and there are whale fossils that show the violence of a Megalodon attack. it is possible to find your own Megalodon teeth or to buy them, the smaller ones at least, from fossil shops or online.
T-Rex: The Apex Land Predator
Now, let’s turn our attention to the land, where the T-Rex, short for Tyrannosaurus Rex, reigned supreme. This dinosaur, whose name means “tyrant lizard king,” stood about 13 feet or more tall and stretched up to 40 feet in length. You can check out how big was a T-Rex here in this article but this dinosaur needs little introduction as it tops the most popular dinosaur lists year after year.
It was a carnivore that hunted and ate other dinosaurs, using its massive jaws and sharp, serrated teeth to rip apart its prey and may, or may not, have hunted in packs as well.
The T-Rex was not only formidable in size, but it was also equipped with powerful hind limbs and a strong tail, which provided balance and agility though not as fast as first thought it was certainly as powerful.
Although these two predators lived at different times and would never have encountered each other outside of the movie theatre the T-Rex is thought to be a surprisingly capable swimmer, though not compared to a shark of course, but its powerful hind limbs and tail could have pushed it through the water at some speeds.
Comparating a megalodon and a T-Rex.
Now, if we look at the Megalodon and T-Rex side by side, we can see some notable differences and similarities. Both were apex predators of their time, equipped with powerful jaws and sharp teeth designed for killing and consuming prey.
However, their size and adaptations were suited to their specific environments. Megalodon, as a marine creature, had a streamlined body for efficient swimming and a tail for propulsion and a mouth full of razor sharp teeth to take chunks out of whales.
The T-Rex, on the other hand, was built for terrestrial life, with strong legs for moving on land, a large mouth with cutting and stabbing teeth, and tiny, albeit debatably functional, arms.
You can check out the table for more details and that side by side comparison of a Megalodon and a T-Rex and make your own assumptions on whether a megalodon could have eaten a T-Rex or not.
Table 1: Could a Megalodon eat a T-Rex – Comparison.
|Attribute||Megalodon||T-Rex||Which is Superior?|
|Size||Approximately 60 feet in length||Approximately 40 feet in length||Megalodon|
|Weight||Estimated to be 50-100 tons||Estimated to be 5-10 tons||Megalodon|
|Environment||Aquatic: had the ability to swim and dive in the ocean||Terrestrial: walked on land||Depends on scenario|
|Speed||Likely swift in the water due to streamlined body shape||Likely slower due to size, but estimated top speed could reach 12-15 mph||Megalodon|
|Bite Force||One of the strongest bite forces ever, estimated to exceed 40,000 pounds||Also had a strong bite, estimated to be around 7,800 pounds||Megalodon|
|Hunting Tactics||Likely used ambush tactics and speed to capture prey||Likely used its keen senses and possibly pack hunting strategies||Depends on scenario|
|Teeth||almost 300 Massive teeth designed for grabbing and breaking bones, could grow over 7 inches in length||50 -60 Sharp, serrated teeth designed for tearing flesh, approximately 12 inches long including the root||Megalodon|
|Diet||Primarily large marine mammals||Primarily large dinosaurs||Depends on scenario|
|Agility||High agility in the water||Moderate agility on land due to size, but strong hind limbs provided balance and may have helped in hunting||Depends on scenario|
|Daily Food intake||2500 lbs (estimate)||500 Lbs (estimate)||Meg ate more!|
Could a Megalodon have eaten a T-Rex
Setting the Stage
Let’s imagine a scenario where these two monstrous creatures could meet. It’s a bit of a stretch, considering the Megalodon was a sea creature and the T-Rex a land-dweller.
But for the sake of our theoretical showdown, let’s say this encounter happens near a coastal region, where the deep sea meets the land, a place where the Megalodon could come close to shore and the T-Rex could venture near the water.
Which is exactly the situation the two found themselves in the Meg 2: The Trench Trailer and movie. We have the breakdown of that trailer on the link, and the actual trailer linked below on YouTube.
Analyzing the Potential Encounter
Given this scenario, both creatures would have their advantages and disadvantages. The Megalodon, in the water, would be in its natural habitat where it could use its speed and power to its advantage. However, it would be restricted by the shallow water near the coast.
The T-Rex, on the other hand, would have the advantage of solid ground and mobility on land, but it would be at risk if it ventured too far into the water.
Each creature would likely use its primary weapons in a confrontation – the Megalodon with its powerful bite and the T-Rex with its strong jaws and sharp teeth. The Megalodon’s strategy would likely involve trying to drag the T-Rex into deeper water where it could use its full strength and mobility.
Conversely, the T-Rex would likely try to keep the fight on land, or in the shallows where it could use its size and power to its advantage.
A fight would be risky for both animals however, with both able to seriously injure each other.
The outcome of a Meg Vs. t-Rex would likely depend heavily on where it took place. If the confrontation happened in deeper water, the Megalodon would have a clear advantage. Its swimming abilities, combined with its powerful bite, could certainly overpower the T-Rex.
However, if the fight took place on land, the T-Rex would have the upper hand. Its robust legs and powerful jaws would likely give it the edge over the Megalodon and the shallower the water the less manoeuvrable the Megalodon would be, and of course if it is actually on land as long as the T-Rex stayed away from its flailing jaws it could bite the Meg at its leisure.
So Who Would Win?
In this prehistoric apex predator showdown, the victor would largely depend on where it happened. As we mentioned above
In the water a Megalodon could eat a T-Rex
If the encounter were to occur in the water, the Megalodon would have a distinct advantage. Its streamlined body and powerful tail would enable swift and agile movements, outmaneuvering the T-Rex. The Megalodon’s bite force, considered one of the strongest of all time, could inflict a serious, if not fatal, wound on the T-Rex.
However, it’s worth noting that the Megalodon was adapted to hunting marine animals, not land-dwelling creatures. The T-Rex, being a terrestrial animal, might present a unique challenge to the Megalodon.
On Land a T-Rex would probably Eat the Megalodon
On land, the T-Rex would have the home field (literally ha!) advantage.It was a powerful animal with strong legs, and its strong jaws equipped with sharp, serrated teeth could cause devastating damage to the Megalodon, which would be severely handicapped on land. (obviously)
Yet, it’s important to remember that the T-Rex, while an intimidating predator, was not invincible. A well-placed bite from the Megalodon, even on land, could significantly injure or kill the T-Rex.
Would a Megalodon eat a T-Rex
Although the question seems on the surface ( ha!) similar to the title of the article there is a pretty large difference. Being able to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. We take a quick, you will be pleased to hear, look at if a T-Rex would even be on the menu for a Megalodon if the to were to come across each other.
Megalodon in the Upcoming Movie
The upcoming movie trailer reveals a truly jaw-dropping scene, a T-Rex, the formidable land predator, hunting a Nothosaurus on a beach, only to be snatched away by a gigantic Megalodon leaping out from the water. The Megalodon’s mouth is depicted as about half as long as the T-Rex’s body, excluding its tail, emphasizing the creature’s massive size.
While this is a thrilling scene for a movie, it’s important to consider the likelihood of such an event in reality. Megalodon was indeed a huge marine predator, capable of hunting large prey. However, it’s uncertain whether it would have used such a dramatic hunting technique. It’s more likely that the Megalodon would have relied on ambushing its prey in deeper waters where it had more room to maneuver.
Nevertheless, it’s conceivable that a Megalodon could have ventured into shallow waters to hunt, possibly targeting large creatures that strayed too close to the water’s edge. Remember, these are speculative scenarios and the actual hunting behavior of the Megalodon remains a mystery.
A Dinosaur, especially a carnivore like a T-Rex were not “fat” animals like a megalodons usual prey of whales and even with the size of them it is unlikely they were considered favourite prey of any marine reptiles or massive sharks.
Of course, sharks are opportunistic and a free meal is a free meal, so if a dinosaur happened to be swimming or dying in the sea then it would be easy pickings for both sharks and other marine reptiles that happened upon them. As we highlighted above in the case of the hadrosaur and the shark bites.
T-Rex Swimming in “Prehistoric Planet”
The new dinosaur documentary, “Prehistoric Planet,” narrated by David Attenborough, presents another intriguing scenario where a T-Rex is swimming to an offshore island with its young. One of the young T-Rex gets taken by a Mosasaurus, a large marine reptile that coexisted with dinosaurs. Despite the Mosasaurus being larger and heavier than the adult T-Rex, it is suggested that the Mosasaurus would still be wary of taking on a full grown Tyrannosaurus.
This cautious behavior could be attributed to the T-Rex’s size and clear predatory build. The Mosasaurus, despite its size advantage, might avoid unnecessary confrontation with a fully-grown T-Rex, especially if it’s protecting its young and instead choose easier and less “toothy” prey.
Drawing parallels with a Megalodon, we might speculate that even a Megalodon would exercise caution in similar situations. While Megalodon was larger than a T-Rex and adapted to hunting large prey, it would still need to consider the potential risks of a confrontation.
However, given its massive size and powerful bite, a Megalodon might be less apprehensive about attacking larger prey especially if it is a case of mistaken identity like most shark attacks today.
So scientifically a Megalodon could not have eaten a T-Rex, they were seperated by over 40 million years of evolution, and of course one was a water living shark and the ther a land based dinosaur!
However, looking at the questiotion with a little imagination, and putting the science hat to one side for a moment, then yes a Megalodon, in water at least, would have been completely able to hunt and kill even an adult T-Rex. it would however be more risky to do so than most of its usual prey.
On land the roles would be reversed, but a hungry T-Rex would still have to stay away from the business end of the Megalodon and make sure it doesn’t get caught in those thrashing teeth while the megalodon is stranded.
and after you have watched the trailer, you know who the film makers think would win ! But as the film is called the Meg 2, they might be a little biased!
The Meg 2 The Trench is released in cinemas on August the 4th 2023 and you might want to look out for another large predator in it, the kronosaurus! (or liopleurodon ) As while the Megalodon could have eaten a T-Rex, we might see what could have eaten a megalodon!
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.