The new for 2021 Papo Megalodon model has arrived at Everything Dinosaur. This is the first new prehistoric animal model to be added to the Papo “Les Dinosaures” range this year. Like many model manufacturers, Papo have found it difficult to introduce new figures due to the global pandemic and issues with logistics, but this splendid prehistoric shark replica has been well worth the wait.

Papo Megalodon model (lateral view)
The new for 2021 Papo Megalodon model, one of just two replicas to be introduced by the French model and figure manufacturer this year.

Classifying Megalodon

Regarded by many researchers as the biggest shark known to science and indeed, one of the largest fish to have ever existed “Megalodon” certainly has iconic status. Models of this apex predator, adult animals are believed to have fed on whales, have always been popular and in August 2018 the film “The Meg” premiered. The plot for the movie considered the possibility that these prehistoric sharks are not extinct and inhabit the deepest parts of the ocean. The film was a huge box office success and grossed over $530 million USD in box office sales. Although sightings of really large sharks have been made, most scientists believe that Otodus megalodon became extinct more than 2.5 million years ago.

Known mainly from fossilised teeth, the taxonomic position of “Megalodon” remains controversial. The famous Swiss zoologist Louis Agassiz published a scientific description in 1843 and erected the name Carcharodon megalodon as he believed that this prehistoric shark was closely related to the extant Great White (Carcharodon carcharias). This idea has fallen out of favour and it is now thought that Otodus megalodon was a member of the extinct shark family the Otodontidae, which diverged from those sharks that eventually led to the evolution of the modern Great White during the Cretaceous. It is likely that the ancestors of the Great White and Otodus were contemporaneous and the lineages may have competed against each other for resources (interspecific competition).

Papo Otodus megalodon model
The Papo Otodus megalodon model (lateral view).

Model Measurements

The Papo Megalodon model measures around 20.5 cm in length and that impressive dorsal fin is around 5.5 cm off the ground. The model is supplied with a transparent support stand which also serves to protect the broad, wide pectoral fins during shipping.

Papo Megalodon model
The Papo Otodus megalodon model in anterior view.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that they were delighted to be able to get this excellent shark figure into stock and that the published image from Papo for this model did not do it justice. They also stated that team members had taken the decision to update their “Megalodon” fact sheet that is sent out with sales of this figure. It was thought appropriate to amend the classification as stated in the fact sheet from Carcharocles megalodon to Otodus megalodon to reflect the latest scientific thinking, although the spokesperson did also comment that the taxonomic classification of this iconic prehistoric fish remained uncertain.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animal models and figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Papo Prehistoric Animal Models.

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