Movies

Is new monster film The Meg based on a real animal?

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(Picture: Warner Bros)

Its being hailed as the Jaws of our generation, except the monster is far, far bigger than a great white.

The Meg is a movie starring Jason Statham and Ruby Rose, as well as a seriously big sea creature.

The scientists in the film must stop a crazed megalodon from attacking people on the beach – preferably without getting eaten by it themselves.

Probably the craziest part of the whole film is that the meg isnt totally fictional. Heres the history of the megalodon.

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Dont worry too much, as megalodons are now extinct, and they havent been around for between 2.6 million years.

Previously, scientists believed it was genetically related to the great white, although this has been debated since.

The name itself means big tooth and it was a big animal indeed, with its diet thought to include whales, seals, and giant turtles.

An artists impression of a megalodon (Picture: Getty)

The real life meg would use its jaws to break the bones of its prey and puncture its chest and lungs. Not pretty.

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In terms of looks, its likely that megalodons looked most like basking sharks or whale sharks, except much bigger.

Some estimates put a standard megalodon at around 43 feet in length while others say it could be as big as 82 feet.

Tooth of a great white versus that of a megalodon (Picture: Getty)

Fossil hunters believe a single tooth from the animal could be as large as seven inches.

Its not completely clear how megalogons became extinct, but the two main theories are climate change and a new ecosystem (including prey going extinct and competition from new superpredators).

Some people have reported seeing the creatures in modern times, although these sightings have never been confirmed.

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