A Toothy Experience: Don’t Miss Megalodon

Megalodon is back at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville! If you’re an Oakmont resident who’s never heard of such a thing, don’t miss your opportunity to see it.

Megalodon is the world’s largest shark — a long-extinct prehistoric species — but fossils, artifacts and evolving research keep its presence alive.Megalodon Exhibit Image from the Florida Museum of Natural History This namesake Megalodon exhibit originated at the Florida Museum of Natural History in 2008, and has spent the past 12 years touring North America.

Now, it’s back home for a few months, with fresh components and scientific updates. The Megalodon display features plenty of thrills, chills and gee-whiz learnings. So head to the Museum, which is located only minutes east of Oakmont, on the University of Florida campus.

But don’t delay — Megalodon only runs through January 10, 2021. Then it undoubtedly will hit the road again to dispense more thrills, chills and gee-whiz learnings elsewhere.

Here why you and yours should take advantage of this toothy experience.

First, where to find it

The Florida Museum of Natural History is part of the University of Florida Cultural Plaza — super-close for Oakmont residents.

Exit Oakmont’s main entrance on Southwest 24th Avenue, then go south on Parker Road. Head east on Archer Road (also State Road 24). Pass Interstate 75. Go approximately one mile and turn left on Southwest 34th Street. Next, turn right on Hull Road. The University of Florida Cultural Plaza is on your right. Click here for directions to the museum.

At this writing, the Museum of Natural History is open 10 a.m., until 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m., on Sunday. Adult tickets for Megalodon are $8. Children’s tickets (ages 3 to 17) are $5.50.

Be awed by Megalodon

The phrase “world’s largest shark” becomes real when you come face-to-face with one. Enter the exhibit by walking through the real-life-sized jaws and skeletal replica of a 60-foot Megalodon.

These massive eating machines — known as apex predators — represented the top of the oceanic food chain millions of years ago. As you walk through the Florida Museum of Natural history’s Megalodon, you’ll examine infographics, display cases and other booths that describe the Megalodon and science’s growing knowledge of it.

You’ll see (giant!) fossilized Megalodon teeth discovered around the world, full-scale models of other ancient and modern sharks, and a photo-worthy exhibit of different sizes of shark jaws.

Don’t miss the stacked tuna cans — you might wonder why those are in a museum — but this batch approximates a typical Megalodon meal — 2,500 pounds. When you learn Megalodon feasted on whales, among other prey, you’ll understand that its average of 276 teeth came in handy. And that tuna might have assumed snack status!

More on Megalodon

The Florida Museum of Natural History is renowned for its ongoing shark research. Catch up on the latest as you peruse the exhibit.

Intrigued by Megalodon? Don’t miss the museum’s permanent Florida Fossils exhibit.

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