Disclaimer: This depicts only more conservative estimates- if you wish to look at LARGER size estimates, (or comment on 'someone said it could be even bigger') please go to my OTHER chart using the following link:harry-the-fox.deviantart.com/a…
Anyway, here it is, in time for Shark Month- MEGALODON!
As stated in the description, this is an animal that scientists are forced to reconstruct from basically nothing (it's teeth and a few traces of vertebrae), and usually model this animal on its nearest relative, the modern Great White Shark.
While I normally don't do reconstructions of animals with scant remains, some animals are far too spectacular to turn down.
Because only its teeth are in good condition, scientists typically try to calculate this animals size based on its teeth (by comparing the relative size of a Great White's own teeth to its body length).
Different comparative measurements (based on some consistent size ratios in modern sharks) are used- either measuring a specific part of the tooth (eg the slant height). The more reliable measurements have potentially placed this shark between 13m to 16.5m long, with the majority of these falling in about 14m-15.5m. Even at 13m long, it would have been larger than any other prehistoric predator suited for large prey- except maybe the Leviatan Melville. Animals like Predator X or the Mososaurs clearly exceeded these lengths, but were more elongated and overall likely smaller. Sperm Whales and the mega-large Ichthyosaurs greatly exceeded this size, as do most baleen whales (both also predators).
I decided to try a similar-ish approach to try to scale it up: amateurish, but also based on established scientific estimates of the parts, and I imagine a lot of less-formal estimates have done something similar (though possibly it might end up being the more flamboyant estimates).
All this using a programmed ruler tool within Photoshop to ensure everything was accurate (and so long as the final version fit within the above measurements, I should be fine- if not, I would check to see what went wrong):
Basically, I built the animal from the teeth up.
Using an extensive amount of photographs of the teeth and jaws of Megalodon and Great Whites, I reconstructed the Megaladon's teeth (to be exactly the same size as real-life using the ruler and the man's hand- a LOT of Megalodon reconstructions enthusiastically scale a great white up to an alleged Megalodon size- and the jumbo teeth are a giveaway they over-sized it).
Then I followed suit using jaw reconstructions, ensuring the teeth were the correct size (and the reconstructions more closely followed the compacted, powerful form of a great white- many, in an attempt to insinuate a bigger size, give it a stretched out jaw that would have a harder time biting into powerful prey). From there I combined photos and anatomical charts (From scientific, scholarly sources) to map out how the jaws actually fit inside a great white- and appllied them to my jaw reconstruction (the jaws are mostly internal, and are just in front of the gill organs- only the rear vents visible).
Then I just started painting based on these (clicking and dragging to ensure they were exact). Luckilly, I also had a photo-accurate Great White Shark I depicted earlier to further assist (check it out, it's awesome).
The end result I got was approximately 15.5m - 16m long. Which means that so long as the Megalodon fit a Great White Shark's body, this reconstruction should be fairly accurate to the more scientific estimates.
Hope you like it.