Everything Dinosaur Review’s the C. megalodon Model
The Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range manufactured by Safari Ltd contains a wide range of prehistoric animal models, not just dinosaurs. For example, recently introduced into this range is a replica of the prehistoric shark commonly referred to as “Megalodon” and it’s fitting to have a bespoke model of this apex predator added to a mainstream model maker’s range.
Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon
Let’s first deal with the name of this replica. The term “Megalodon” refers to the actual species name. It’s a bit like calling Tyrannosaurus rex just “rex”. The scientific name for a species consists of two parts – the genus name which is the term used to define a group of closely related species and the specific or trivial name which identifies the actual species. It is not technically correct to use the species name on its own, but due to the amount of media coverage that this very dangerous prehistoric shark has attracted, the name “Megalodon” has been firmly established in people’s minds.
The Wild Safari Dinos “Megalodon” Prehistoric Shark Model
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
The naming issue is further confused as palaeontologists remain unsure as to how this huge, meat-eating shark should be classified. As a member of the shark family, this shark had a skeleton made of cartilage, the only fossils we have are a few isolated, calcified vertebrae and of course those famous triangular teeth.
To read an update on the classification debate surrounding this extinct fish: Getting Our Teeth into the C. megalodon debate.
The model depicts “Megalodon” as an active predator, the model balances on its large pectoral fins and the lower fluke of the tail. The triangular dorsal fin is roughly the same size as the top part of the tail. Whether or not this is correct is open to speculation. This shark has five prominent gill slits, very typical of Lamniformes (the Order of sharks that Megalodon, we shall stop putting this word in quotation marks for the rest of this article, is believed to belong to) and the huge eyes are painted black and positioned towards the top of the skull.
Examining the Fossils
Fossils ascribed to the genus that we refer to in Everything Dinosaur as C. megalodon date from the Miocene to the Pliocene Epochs, ranging from 16 million years to around 1.6 million years ago. The teeth, for which this shark is so famous, have been found in Europe, Africa, Australasia and North and South America. This indicates that C. megalodon was a very geographically dispersed shark with a presence in virtually all of the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the world at some point during its evolutionary history.
As for the size of this monster, this causes quite a problem. Although this fish was first scientifically described back in 1843, size estimates do vary considerably. For example, the American zoologist Professor Bashford Dean suggested that this predator could reach lengths in excess of thirty metres. However, most scientists suggest that it was smaller than this, perhaps reaching lengths of fifteen metres or more, with a maximum weight of around 20,000 kilogrammes.
As this Safari Ltd replica measures around nineteen centimetres in total length, then based on the estimated size of approximately fifteen metres, this model represents a 1:78 scale figure.
The model makers and design team have once again done a fantastic job when it comes to painting. It is not known what colouration this shark actually had, however, as an active predator, probably patrolling open waters and ambushing mammalian prey and large fish from below, the model has been painted a battleship grey colour topside, with contrasting white markings underneath and along the flanks. Many of the fins, including that impressive dorsal fin have been tipped with black paint.
A feature of this model that is particularly well done are the rows of the teeth visible in the open mouth. Three rows of triangular shaped teeth are visible in the lower jaw and three rows of teeth have been clearly defined in the upper jaw. Once again the paint job around the mouth is excellent with individual teeth carefully picked out.
A Close up of the Model Showing the Teeth
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
This is an exciting addition to the Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range made by Safari Ltd and it means that Everything Dinosaur now has a model of the shark known as “Megalodon” to supply to model collectors and fans of prehistoric animals. Everything Dinosaur even supplies a fact sheet all about C. megalodon and this will be sent out with model sales.
A taxonomic revision has led to this prehistoric shark being reclassified as Otodus megalodon.
To view Everything Dinosaur’s stock of Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Replicas and Figures.