The mystery of the deep ocean and its inhabitants has always intrigued us here at Dinosaur Facts for Kids, and despite being a Dinosaur fan we also hold Marine Animals close to our hearts as well.
Especially when those marine animals come in as cool a package as the megalodon and the Giant Squid.
Now a few years ago we watched as a Megalodon chomped down on a Giant Squid saving one of the main characters from being crushed and then eaten in the first ‘Meg’ movie, we thought it was a shame that it was never seen again.
Now with The Meg 2: The Trench movie just a couple of months away from release and the trailer ( more here on that) already out that features not one but 3 megalodon, and the eye (we think) as well as some pretty gigantic tentacles of a giant squid.
As the megalodon may well be a kind of Anti hero in this, eventually defeating the squid, we wondered could the Megalodon eat Giant Squid in real life?
Could Megalodon Eat Giant Squid
We look at the answers and reasons below. Firstly we will look at the Megalodon, an extinct species of shark that ranks among the fiercest and largest predators ever.
Then the Giant Squid, a deep-sea creature that’s still largely unknown and from what many sea monster legends are born.
Megalodon: The Ultimate Marine Predator
The Megalodon was an enormous marine predator, reaching lengths of up to 60 feet (18 meters), three times the length and much MUCH heavier than a modern-day Great White Shark. With such size and its huge teeth, the Megalodon was built for strength and power.
It had a jaw that could fit an adult human standing up, and even raising their arms to try to touch those teeth that were up to seven inches long – the perfect tools for grasping, tearing, cutting and ripping apart large prey.
Its diet was likely composed of large marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins and gouges in bones of whales alive at the time have shown evidence of Megalodon attacks.
Though we don’t have direct evidence that the Megalodon ever fed on Giant Squid, its size and hunting capabilities suggest it would have been physically capable of doing so, if given and taking the opportunity
We have a list of further Megalodon reading if you want to know more below.
- Meg Vs; T-Rex
- How big was Megalodon?
- The best Megalodon Movies
- What was Megalodons Bite Force
- Are Megalodon Alive Today?
- Giant octopus Vs. megalodon
The Mysterious Giant Squid
The Giant Squid, one of the largest ever invertebrates on Earth, can reach lengths of 43 feet (13 meters) for females and 33 feet (10 meters) for males.
This elusive creature is a deep-sea dweller, preferring depths between 1,000 and 3,000 feet and has been rarely spotted by humans. We have a rare YouTube Video of one encounter below this section.
Despite its impressive size, the Giant Squid isn’t at the top of the food chain. Sperm whales are known predators of the Giant Squid, and scars from squid suckers have been found on the skin of these whales, suggesting the squid doesn’t go down without a fight.
If the Giant Squid and Megalodon lived at the same time and in the same places, it’s conceivable that the Megalodon, like modern sperm whales, could have hunted them as well so lets see if the two predators could have ever met and if they were alive at the same time.
Did Megalodon and The Giant Squid Live at the same time?
The Megalodon lived from about 23 million to around 3.6 million years ago, in what’s known as the Neogene Period. ( although there is a little variance in these times depending who you read) and is now extinct, ( we can all breath a sigh of relief with that news)
We know it existed mainly through the teeth it left behind that range from about an inch to a whopping 7 inches in length and some vertebrae. oh…and some scars on whales from their encounters with this huge sharks that let us know those teeth were not just for show!
The exact timeline of the Giant Squid is still a matter of scientific debate, mainly due to the scarcity of its fossil record. However, we know that their ancestors date back at least 480 million years. Today’s Giant Squid is thought to have evolved around 30 million years ago, during the Oligocene Epoch.
there are also plenty of tales of human encounters with Giant Squid throughout our own history, (some more fanciful than others) although it would have been around for millions and millions of years before us.
So, while there might be a slight overlap in their timelines, by slight we mean about 20 million years!, it’s important to remember that just because they coexisted doesn’t necessarily mean they interacted, as we will explore in the next section.
Did Megalodon and the Giant Squid Live together?
The Megalodon was found in oceans worldwide, predominantly in coastal regions and preferred warmer waters, but it’s believed to have ventured into colder regions too. Although it was clearly ocean going it, like most sharks, is thought to have lived mostly in shallower waters rather than the depths of the ocean.
In contrast, the Giant Squid is a creature of the deep sea, residing between 1,000 and 3,000 feet below the surface, far deeper than the Megalodon typically inhabited. Similar to the slightly larger colossal squid depth. Although both could have likely travelled up or down to those depths it would have not been commonplace to do so.
Given this disparity in their preferred habitats, it’s unlikely that they frequently encountered each other, despite possibly coexisting for a period of 20 million years.
Megalodon Vs. The Giant Squid Who Would win?
Suppose a Megalodon somehow found itself deep enough to encounter a Giant Squid or a Giant Squid came up and 2000 feet for some reason. In that case, it’s feasible that the Megalodon might attempt to prey on it, given its known preference for large prey.
However, these Squids are and were not helpless prey. They are equipped with large tentacles covered in suction cups lined with tiny tooth-like structures and a powerful beak capable of inflicting severe wounds. Sperm whales, with thick tough skin as well hold scars of their encounters with Giant squid.
Hence, a Megalodon would likely have had to exert significant effort and potentially risk injury to successfully hunt a Squid of this size even if it would have very likely been successful in doing so. however, as there are suggestions that Giant squid may eat smaller whales, or juveniles it may be that if the Megalodon was Younger, or small, that situation may be reversed.
In the movie The Meg 2: The Trench the Squid seems many times larger than current estimates, and it may be that the sharks are grouped together for protection. ( there is a similar scenario in the MEG series of novels,
Although its the kronosaurus that group from the Megalodons and not the Megalodons from Giant Squid in the novels. However we wont know till August the 4th when we sit down in the Movie theatre with our popcorn and watch the Meg 2: The Trench, which way they have gone with this.
Without direct evidence such as fossils with clear markings of a Megalodon attack on a Giant Squid, we can only speculate about this encounter. We go into a little more depth ( ha!) in this is a separate article.
Table 1: Comparison between megalodon and Giant Squid
|Up to 60 ft
|Up to 43 ft
|Up to 46 ft
|Up to 50 tons
|Up to 1 ton
|Up to 1.5 tons
|Large marine mammals
|Fish, shrimp, other squids
|Large fish, other squids
|Surface to 400 ft
|1,000 to 3,000 ft
|1,000 to 2,200 ft
|23 to 3.6 million years ago
|None (Apex Predator)
Was it worth the risk for a Meg to attack a Giant Squid?
The Megalodon, being a top predator, would have constantly evaluated the risks and rewards of pursuing different prey. A Giant Squid, while large and potentially filling, would have been a challenging and potentially risky target due to its size, strength, and defensive capabilities.
Those huge tentacles, with teeth all along them, although not life threatening to a large Megalodon, would have been dangerous.
Plus, the environmental conditions of the deep sea where the Squid live would pose additional challenges for a Megalodon, such as high pressure, low temperatures, and limited visibility if the hunt occurred in the Giant Squids back yard ( so to speak)
Therefore, it seems likely that the Megalodon would have opted for less challenging prey unless options were scarce or the squid was nearer the surface.
Is there any evidence of Megalodon eating Giant Squid?
Fossil records play a crucial role in helping us understand the life and behavior of extinct creatures. However, fossil evidence directly indicating Megalodon predation on Giant Squid is currently lacking.
This absence could be due to several reasons, including the Squid’s soft body leaving little trace in the fossil record, or simply that such predation rarely, if ever, occurred.
Nonetheless, the lack of direct fossil evidence does not entirely rule out the possibility of such interactions, and further paleontological discoveries could shed more light on this subject.
So, could the Megalodon have eaten the Giant Squid? Based on current evidence, while it’s physically possible, it seems unlikely.
The varied habitats of the two creatures, potential risks involved in hunting such formidable prey, and the lack of direct fossil evidence suggest that if these interactions ever occurred, they were probably rare.
Our understanding of these magnificent creatures and their behaviors continues to evolve, and future discoveries may yet bring us closer to answering this intriguing question. In the world of paleontology and marine biology, it seems, the adventure never ends.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Could a Megalodon have beaten a Giant Squid?
A: Physically, yes. Megalodons were powerful predators. However, a Giant Squid would be a formidable opponent due to its size, strength, and defensive capabilities. In the end if both were adults the sheer size and adaptations megalodon had to take down large prey would win out.
Q: Would it be worth it for a Megalodon to fight and eat a Giant Squid?
A: It’s debatable. While Giant Squids are large, the risks involved in hunting such challenging prey in inhospitable deep-sea conditions may have outweighed the rewards. If the squid was in lighter shallower seas it may be less of a risk as the Megalodon could use its sight as well.
Q: Did Megalodons and Giant Squids live at the same time?
A: Yes, their timelines likely overlapped by about 20 million years. However, they inhabited different ocean depths, which may have limited their interactions. Squids did not go extinct and are still alive today
Q: Which was bigger, a Megalodon or a Giant Squid?
A: The Megalodon was generally bigger, reaching lengths up to 60 feet. The Giant Squid, though impressive in size, averages 33-43 feet in length. The colossal Squid only reaching lengths a few feet longer.
Q: Which was heavier, a Megalodon or a Giant Squid?
A: The Megalodon was significantly heavier. Estimates suggest Megalodon weighed up to 50 tons, while a Giant Squid weighs around half a ton.
Q: Did Livyatan live at the same time as the Giant Squid?
A: Yes, Livyatan, a prehistoric sperm whale, lived around 13-12 million years ago during the Miocene epoch. This timeline likely overlaps with that of the Giant Squid’s ancestors. It also means it lived at the same time as megalodon... we take a look at how these two leviathans of the deep may have interacted on the site as well.
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.