With interests in science and nature, I explores topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.
Megalodon vs. Whale
Livyatan Melvillei and Carcharodon Megalodon were two of the most terrifying ocean predators this planet has ever seen. These are the kind of creatures that have spawned myth and legend since mankind first went into the water.
Even though these beasts had gone extinct long before modern humans were even around, there is still something in us that fears the deep abyss of the open ocean, and what may lurk in its depths.
Livyatan was a massive raptorial whale with the largest functional teeth ever known, some measuring over a foot long.
Megalodon was the biggest shark that ever swam in the oceans of this world, and had the strongest bite force of any known animal.
It’s interesting to imagine these two incredible prehistoric sea creatures squaring off in an epic battle, and if we were around back then we may have seen it. These fearsome predators shared the same ocean during the same time period and were likely well acquainted with each other. During the Miocene Epoch, some 13 million years ago, they competed for the same food and the same turf. When they eventually went extinct it was probably for the same reasons.
So who would have been the top predator of the ancient oceans? And, when they met face to face, which of these fearsome giants yielded to the other?
Let’s take a closer look at each of these prehistoric sea monsters.
Livyatan Melvillei is a fairly recent discovery in the world of paleontology, first described back in 2008. The researchers who discovered Livyatan first named it Leviathan, but then realized that name had already been used to describe another animal. So, they changed the name to the Hebrew spelling.
No matter how you spell it, leviathan is a word that describes this monster quite accurately. Growing to nearly 60 feet long and weighing up to 50 tons, this was a whale to be reckoned with.
It had the biggest teeth of any animal to ever live at over a foot long. Some animals, such as elephants, have longer tusks, but Livyatan’s teeth were built for action.
With such an impressive set of choppers, one theory regarding Livyatan’s hunting strategy might be surprising. Like modern sperm whales, Livyatan appears to have had an organ with stored reservoirs of wax and oil at the base of its skull. Today this is seen in whales that dive deep for their prey, but Livyatan is thought to have been a surface hunter. So what would have been the purpose of this organ?
Among the possible guesses, one of the most interesting is that Livyatan may have subdued larger prey items by head-butting at high speed, thereby knocking them unconscious at which point those formidable teeth would have come into the picture. Of course, this is only speculation, but there is some precedent for modern whales ramming and sinking whaling ships.
However it got it done, this massive whale was a king in the ancient ocean, with the size and weaponry necessary to take on any adversary. Surely there was no prehistoric beasty large and powerful enough to present a challenge for Livyatan, the Leviathan of the deep.
Discovering the Leviathan
Picture a Great White Shark, except three times as large, and you get some idea of what Megalodon would have been like. Back when Megalodon was first discovered researchers put its estimated length at 80-100 feet, but in recent times there are more realistic numbers. Still, at over 60 feet long and perhaps weighing as much as 100 tons it was the biggest and most dangerous shark that ever lived. To go along with its 7-inch serrated teeth, it had the strongest bite force of any animal ever known and was much more powerful than even the biggest dinosaurs.
Because shark skeletons consist mostly of cartilage, the only evidence of Megalodon we have today is teeth, jaw fragments and a few pieces of vertebrae. There is some debate over whether it is closely related to the Great White, or whether it was the last in a lineage of giant toothed sharks. Without more evidence, it’s hard to know exactly what this creature looked like.
Like Livyatan, Megalodon was a surface hunter, most likely prowling the coasts similar to the way a Great White hunts. Megalodon young would have lived in shark nurseries closer to the shore where they’d be safer, and adults would have hunted in deeper water. Like a modern Great White, Megalodon was likely an ambush predator, attacking from below and at great speed.
Although contested by mainstream science, there are some cryptozoologists who believe the Megalodon shark could still be alive today, perhaps in the deeper parts of the ocean. Various reports of the beast have come out in modern times, including alleged recent sightings in the Sea of Cortez.
While it is highly improbable that a remnant population of Megalodon sharks still exists somewhere in the world, what is certain is that this massive predator once ruled the ancient oceans. Or did it? Until 2008 it was thought that Meg was the biggest, baddest thing in the prehistoric sea. Did the monster Livyatan bully this massive shark, or was it the other way around?
The Ancient Ocean Battlefield
Both of these predators lived in every ocean of the world, which were much warmer at the time. They preyed on huge whales, dolphins, porpoises, pinnipeds, giant sea turtles, sharks and probably anything else they came across. It’s even likely that smaller individuals of either species would have fallen prey to the other. But the primary food source for both was marine mammals.
A genus of ancient whale called Cetotherium would have been a target for both Megalodon and Livyatan. These whales grew to about 15 feet in length and weighed around a ton. They were filter feeders, ill-equipped to defend themselves, and easy prey.
Larger whales were on the menu too, including ancient relatives of the massive Blue Whale. It is believed Megalodon may have subdued prey larger than itself by biting the fins off first, then coming in for the kill.
Livyatan might have used the aforementioned head-butting technique to clobber bigger prey items into submission, but it most likely stuck to smaller victims.
With such a command over the ancient oceans, it seems unfathomable that these huge creatures would have somehow met their ends, but a changing climate proved too much for them.
Researchers believe the shifting ocean conditions may have played a part in the extinction of these massive predators, either influencing the creatures directly or altering their food supply.
But why did these monsters die off when other sea creatures of the same time flourished? The answer simply may be that large predators have a more difficult time adapting to changing conditions, particularly where their food sources are involved.
Whatever the reasons, other marine creatures would go on to fill to niches left by the demise of these prehistoric sea monsters. Had they continued to thrive, and shape the ecology of the world’s oceans, surely our seas would look much different today.
Megalodon or Livyatan: Who Wins?
So who was king of the ancient ocean, the true apex predator of the Miocene?
Was it Livyatan? Its teeth were almost twice the size of Megalodon’s, and if it was like whales of today it was a more agile swimmer. It also would have possessed much greater intelligence than Megalodon. If Livyatan were to zero in on a moderately sized Megalodon and decide it wanted lunch it seems there would be little the shark could do to save itself.
Or was it Megalodon? We know this huge shark preyed on large whales, and Livyatan would have had to come to the surface for air. Close to the waves, even a massive adult whale would have been easy prey for the stealthy shark.
So, depending on the circumstances, it’s easy to see each of these monsters getting the better of the other. But what about in a head-to-head encounter?
While we can assume that full-on fighting wasn’t in the best interest of either creature and probably occurred very rarely, the nod seems to go to Megalodon in this case.
With a larger, thicker body, and much more powerful bite force, not to mention wider, more massive jaws, the Megalodon was likely the apex predator even among apex predators.
But don’t count Livyatan out. This is a relatively new species, and as research continues surprises may be revealed. Either way, thanks to these two monsters the prehistoric ocean was a very dangerous place.
So, what do you think? Megalodon or Livyatan?
Who was the True Apex Predator? Cast Your Vote
Livyatan will win on August 03, 2020:
I don’t think intelligence is a huge factor one on one. Baboons have high intelligence, yet are preyed upon by leopards so intelligence wont be the deciding factor. Intelligence is more of a factor when it comes to fights with multiple opponents, but even then sheer brute force still comes out on top. Once 9 sperm whales fought slightly over thirty orcas(the most intelligent non human animals), the orcas were only able to kill one before being forced to flee despite outnumbering their adversaries by a factor of 3. A smart man will lose to a trained, strong man. So intelligence is a minor factor. Megalodon has 180kn bite force. Livyatan can seriously injure prey by making a noise(clicking). I don’t see how intelligence will be the most important factor.
w. p. remsen on July 27, 2020:
The single decisive factor in such a contest is the brain-and the superior intelligence that goes with it. Leviathan would come up with plan b -even assuming plan a failed. The whale-period!
Livyatan will win on July 06, 2020:
Does anyone here know exactly how thick megalodons hide was? A great whites is 2 inches but the meg is bigger. The sperm whale and Livy are similarly sized so we can assume they have the same thickness. As long as megalodons hide isn’t over 13 inches long then Livy should be able to bite through its back. If it is over 13 Livy can still kill it by ramming or biting its belly. I can’t find a single source on the internet that says how thick it is besides some guy claiming it’s skin is 39 inches thick making it immune to explosive harpoons and torpedos which is obviously incorrect because there’s no reason for skin to be 39 inches long if the biggest teeth that existed in your era are only 13 inches long.
Livyatan will win on July 02, 2020:
@Nat you are mostly correct. However, there is one thing you said that I believe to be incorrect:
“In case one, the first attack of the megalodon could be fatal for any type of cetacean, but not in the case of lyviathan or sperm whale because of its layer of skin and fat reducing the impact.”
Actually sperm whales and Livyatan are not the only cetaceans with thick skin. Bowhead whales skin is 10-12 inches. While that is 2 inches less thick than the blubber of a sperm whale, it is still thicker than Megalodons teeth are long. The majority of baleen whales in certain areas have endured several bites from orcas, who have 4 inch long teeth. Blue whales have endured hours worth’s of bites from pods of 20+ orcas and still managed to escape, so they must be pretty durable. So Livyatan and cachalot aren’t the only cetaceans who wouldn’t die in one bite from the megalodon.
Fin, blue, sei, southern right, bowhead, and possibly humpback whales could all probably survive a single bite from a megalodon. Considering megalodon preferred smaller whales, it is likely it would be difficult for it to catch the greater whale species. Whales were also smaller back then, whale sizes increased during the time of megalodons extinction so larger whales might’ve been harder for the megalodon to catch.
Livyatan, which you and I believe to be more powerful than the megalodon, has not been confirmed to have hunted any of the greater whale species and would usually consume whales about as long as 25 ft.
So, in conclusion, I believe that if megalodon sneak attacked a whale, and bit it one time, the whale would not die from the first bite, and it would take several to kill the whale.
It is also quite possible I could be wrong, as you seem to be quite knowledgeable about megalodon and Livyatan, more so than me.
Nat on June 28, 2020:
I wouldn't want to offend you, but you would be the worst scientist in the field.
1. "56 km / h": you take it from the great white shark and you stick it directly to the megalodon.
However: as I said before, sharks lose speed compared to a smaller individual of similar morphology with increasing size and weight because it will spend more energy at the same speed as its reduced version because of the weight and the shark, in general, not being predators of endurance, the largest will be much slower even if their morphology allows them.
2. "50 km / h": Livyathan's speed was never estimated, we can just deduce it and +50 km / h is quite likely.
3. "10T": man, realize that the bite of the livyathan has never been studied, as well as the sperm whale which is potentially estimated as the most powerful bite currently.
3. Your scenario is just unlikely. The megalodon is an ambush predator like the great white shark, and from what we know, the great white shark, if the animal is similar in size or 2/3 its size (and depending on the angle), it will instinctively opt for a first attack aimed at knocking out or fracturing its prey in order to avoid potential unnecessary injury, the second attack will be less frontal and direct. The problem is that the great white shark tends to leave a lapse of time used to check the state of its prey, which is not useful in the face of an animal potentially having one of the largest layers of skin.
The great white on the same plane of depth as that prey, will attack directly by the jaw and several times if the prey can repel it (it is the case of the orca by proportion or of the pilot whale).
In case one, the first attack of the megalodon could be fatal for any type of cetacean, but not in the case of lyviathan or sperm whale because of its layer of skin and fat reducing the impact.
When I knew that the livyathan's skin layer, being a close cousin of the sperm whale, was very thick, all my opinion concerning the victory of the megalodon disappeared. Indeed, although sharp, the megalodon teeth are not efficient enough to shear its prey if it has a skin of this order there, for that, it would need teeth of the same structure as that of a tiger shark or a Greenland shark, which is not the case. We must therefore forget the image of the megalodon that kills the livyathan have a jaw. Despite everything, the damage will be present on the surface, which will weaken the animal.
In the case where the livyathan bites that prey, the bite will not be fatal, but directly assures the vitition of the animal if the grip and correct because the jaw and the teeth of the livyathan are made to grind.
Nat on June 28, 2020:
I want to clarify that the bite force of the livyatan, until now has never been evaluated.
The Megalodon is not necessarily a fast predator, but just an ambush. You should know that the studied top speed of a white shark is 56 km / h, however, we rarely observe a great white shark exceeding 40 km / h in ambush. The megalodon had a cruising speed higher than the great white shark (I take this example, because the great white is one of the benchmarks used for the study of the size of megalodon but it could be that it is more crape and therefore slower), which is normal (many large species on a speed of movement (not peak) greater than a similar smaller species), but its top speed was not faster than that of the great white shark. No study above, but if we take the example of the mako shark and the great white shark with a similar morphology, on realizes that the great white, despite a higher cruising speed is slower in top speed and c 'is an observation that can be made on all sharks of the same morphology and on all animals with low endurance (ex: feline) probably due to a weight / expense factor.
However, in marine mammals, we do not have this same observation, because there is not this factor weight / expenditure so important, moreover, if we take cacholot, having a slower metabolism to live under a great pressure to low temperature, it is still capable of reaching 40 km / h in peak, while the Lyviathan, an active surface predator, like the orca, could reach very high speed (+50 km / h surely) .
Livyatan will win on June 22, 2020:
I have some more evidence for Livyatan and I wanted to clarify a few things.
Sperm whale skin=14 inches. We can assume Livyatan had a similar thickness. Megalodon teeth=7 inches. This means megalodon won’t be able to penetrate the sperm whales or livyatans armor. Livyatan attacks with its tail using blunt force like a cane, club or hammer. Megalodon uses its teeth which are sharp like a sword(i know swords are better in most situations but only cause it’s fast to parry but a shark can’t parry a whales blowing I’m only comparing the offensive capabilities because you can’t block with teeth or tails). So it’s basically a man with a cane/club/hammer(Livyatan) vs. a man whose sword isn’t even as long as a mans skin is thick(the meg). So Livyatan definitely wins.
Some have claimed that whales are only slightly smarter than sharks and aren’t as intelligent as actual exceptionally intelligent animals like dolphins. According to the encephalization quotient(eq) system for determining intelligence, whales dumb dolphins smart. The eq system is ridiculous and whales are just as intelligent as dolphins. First let me explain how the eq system came to be. Before the eq system, we thought brain size=intelligence. After realizing 100 ft cetaceans have bigger brains than 6 ft tall ape, we came up with the eq system. According to the eq system caribou and hippos are smarter than whales. Ask any whale or hippo researcher and they will not agree. Humpback whales have shown empathy for other species and actually save other animals from orcas. Some humpback whales do not do this so it isn’t instinctual. According to the eq system female animals are several times more intelligent than males of the same species simply because they are smaller. According to the eq system caribou are smarter than pigs and elephants, monkeys are smarter than orangutans, wildebeest are smarter than hippos and pigs/warthogs, dolphins=1% less than humans and whales=cows. They’ve gone too far, this is madness. A true indicator(and this is still only an indicator and doesn’t necessarily always mean stuff) of intelligence is a higher number of neurons in the forebrain. According to this system, fin, blue and minke whales intelligence is indicated to be higher than that of bottlenose dolphins(who are only considered extremely intelligent cause they were studied on more than other animals) and only surpassed by orcas, pilot whales, and of course humans. So yes, whales and elephants are in the same league as dolphins in intelligence. The eq system might even be worse than the system of brain size=intelligence.
Megalodon is so overrated some people have even claimed that it is 75 ft and 100 tons. Some have claimed it could kill an adult blue whale in 2 bites. Megalodon has a chance to win this fight but it is still way weaker than people claim it is. People need to stop glorifying sharks and start appreciating animals for what they are. People think sharks are cool cause they are strong yet a single orca could take one out. Sharks are cool, but if people are gonna like strong animals then whales should be extremely popular animals and asian elephants should be the king of the jungle. People need to stop overestimating predators and realize that they need uncivilized and dishonorable tactics like stealth in order to kill a single deer.
Megalodon is so glorified some people even make theories about it being alive. We don’t even do that for the dinosaurs, who are obviously cool and popular. Also megalodon is not alive people. Why would it hide in trenches? There nothing to eat there considering how much meat it needs to survive and it’d get cold or get crushed by pressure. Yes they are sightings but it’s pretty easy to see a 40 ft whale shark or 20-30 ft basking shark and think it’s 40 ft megalodon.
I am aware that megalodon is faster but sharks aren’t built for long distance swimming while whales are. That’s how whales escape orcas. Whales are pretty fast too. Finback whales are said to be known as the greyhound of the sea because of their speed. They were extremely difficult to catch until advanced whaling technology was developed.
Livyatan wins but both animals are equally awesome.
Livyatan will win on June 19, 2020:
Oh I forgot it says no links because it promotes other sites. My bad. Thanks for allowing. By the way nice article. Livyatan for the win!
Luther Urswick (author) from USA on June 18, 2020:
@Livyatan will win - That is one of the most well-thought-out responses I've ever had on one of my articles. I usually don't approve comments with links in them, but in this case I will make an exception.
Livyatan will win on June 17, 2020:
Megalodon has a vastly more powerful bite force but shorter teeth. Livyatan can attack with its tail, head and teeth as well as stun the meg.
Livyatan is related to the sperm whale which has the thickest skin of any animal alive today meaning it will be hard for megalodon to penetrate its blubber.
Cetaceans rival apes and elephants in intelligence, and while sharks are smart for fish, they still are less intelligent than Livyatan, but in a direct fight with no prep, intelligence doesn’t really help as if they could actually use all their intelligence in this hypothetical situation then the loser would anticipate who would win and flee.
Modern sperm whales are slow in order to conserve energy to hunt in the deep. Livyatan hunted closer to the surface of the water so would be faster. Whales today travel at 25-35 mph when scared. For comparison, the fastest sharks today travel at 60 mph which is but not significantly. Livyatan was a mammal making it more agile but megalodon, being a shark was most likely faster. Sperm whales cruise at 15 mph while great white sharks go 21 mph minimum So megalodon takes this.
Megalodon feats:hunting small whales.
Livyatan feats:hunting small whales.
Whales were much smaller at the time of the megalodon. Once they became bigger, faster and able to go to colder climates megalodon and Livyatan went extinct so in the evolutionary battle the true winner are modern whales who won just by moving to the Artic.
Descendants role in ecosystems:
It turned out sharks were not suited to being huge and whales were not suited to eating each other. Let’s compare the closest modern animals. Neither sperm whales nor great white shark sharks are apex predators as both are preyed on by orcas. Fully grown male sperm whales rarely get preyed on by orcas so live by themselves. A single orca would be capable of killing or at least contending with a fully grown female(females are actually bigger unlike in tooth whales)great white shark. A single orca has never killed a sperm whale. In fact humpback whales, which are only 40 ft compared to 52 for an average bull sperm whale, have been recorded fighting off orcasand even preventing orcas from eating dead grey whales. If an orca pod shows up in an area all sharks immediately flee. Sperm whales have been known to kill giant and colossal squid and are not scavenging them because there are marks on cachlots(sperm whales) from the battle. Sharks most impressive prey would be the humpback whale but it was only 19 ft and unhealthy and tangled and injured by a fishing net and it was two sharks so im pretty sure that’s enough to prove it was a circumstantial victory. Also only one attack on a humpback whale has been recorded. So it seems Livyatan’s descandants are far more powerful and less likely to be preyed upon than megalodon’s descendants.
So based on this I’m pretty sure we can conclude a victory for Livyatan the majority of the time. Since they lived in the same time one of these battle might actually have occurred, but at the moment there is no proof that Livy preyed on meg or that meg preyed on Livy. It would be a close fight as they are the same size and preyed on similarly sized and in some cases the same animals.
meg sucks on June 11, 2020:
I don't get why people say shark skin is thick. they are idiots. +leviathan always wins unless it breaths air.
goldfishboy111pop on June 11, 2020:
leviathan bite force is 21000psi and meg is 35000psi but leviathan=huge teeth so livyatan=win
loser meg on June 11, 2020:
meg lose bcuz leviathan is better
meg loose on June 11, 2020:
leviathan has longer teeth
goose on June 10, 2020:
meg would win hardly
master roblox on June 10, 2020:
don't underestimate whales. livyatan had a bite force of 21000 psi. and meg had 24000~38000 psi of bite force. but leviathan had a 2x bigger teeth so leviathan wins
ad on June 07, 2020:
assuming all conditions were same with o one having the upper hand and both spotted each other at the same time i think the livyatan would win. being more agile it would probably be able to quickly go underneath the megalodon and ram it leaving the shark temporarily immobilized and when it bit him it would be all over as the large teeth livyatan would penetrate the belly and kill the megaolodon. not to mention livyatan was smarter AND WOULD OUTSMART THE SHARK. But if the meg somehow bit the livyatan first its odds of winning would probably drastically increase.
duel man on June 05, 2020:
shark's under belly is its weakness. so livyatan would sense it and bite it off. but if meg bites first, it will kill livyatan. so it really is 50/50.
goldfish on June 05, 2020:
megalodons are faster. but Livyatan has longer and harder teeth. so it really is 50/50 but I like whales so livyatan
chickenboy111pop on June 05, 2020:
who bites the first wins. so its 50/50.
ME3 on June 05, 2020:
I like megalodons and they are cool. but the only weakness is its soft underbelly. so its 50/50
smart 1 on June 02, 2020:
It is after hours of studying that I have come to this conclusion. It all depends whether the megalodon or the Livyatan as either young or just flat out small or if one had a physical disability or if either one had fought or not. therefore It can not really be said whom would win. Only Jesus and God of Heaven really knows.
no ycp on May 28, 2020:
they have the same size and weight so its basically orca vs great white so whale wins
meg is not bigger on May 28, 2020:
meg is not bigger it is 18 meters and leviathan is 18 meters and its teeth would sink in and kill meg.
ycp on May 23, 2020:
Megalodon would just win easily with the livyatan because megalodon have the strongest bite force and it was bigger than livyatan
Lawrence on May 22, 2020:
Well it is hard to claim who is the winner. They are apex predators of their time . So 50 50.But I love cetaceans more so I bet my money on leviathan
Roxy on May 18, 2020:
Meg would win
Roxy on May 18, 2020:
Smarter is the winner.
Emily on May 18, 2020:
I think leviathan live in pods.
WAHW is wrong on May 16, 2020:
meg and leviathan is same size and weight. leviathan would be too hard for meg to win and colossal squids which grow up to 22 meters or sperm whales up to 19 meters or liopleurodon which can grow up to 26 meters all beat meg (meg grows up to 18 meters)
whale on May 16, 2020:
meg is a piece of rubbish to a leviathan.
wow wahw on May 16, 2020:
meg can grow up to 18 meters and 60tonnes. and leviathan is 17.5 meters and 60 tonnes. and you are underestimating whales. and meg can't one shot leviathan in half. I say its 50/50 who knows?
hey Whale on May 16, 2020:
you are correct. Livyatan wins
Siyul on May 16, 2020:
ummmm wahw they have the same length and weight 50 and 50 tonnes. but leviathan is smarter. :) ^-^ and meg is not smart so yeah. and leviathan will sink in its teeth in Megalodon.
hey wahw on May 16, 2020:
no they have the same weight
WAHW on May 14, 2020:
Megalodon will win. Leviathan is just a the poop of a shrimp to Meg. I would say comparing them are not fair, because it's too easy for a Meg to kill the leviathan. Meg's bite force is almost equal to the weight of leviathan. And no matter what we comparing, Meg's size, weight, bite force, and the ability to settle in different situations... Meg is always better than the leviathan. although shark can't do anything when they are flipped over but remember, Meg is way weighter than leviathan, so leviathan has no chance to flip Meg over before it ripped in piece by Megalodon.
hey yoilkus on May 13, 2020:
the leviathan has harder teeth just saying but it is true. so duh leviathan would win
really? on May 13, 2020:
a shark can't do anything when its fliped over. meg too so it is basically orca vs great white duh who wins? so the leviathan wins it has brain proper bones and hedbut skills.
jack on May 13, 2020:
megalodon is a toy to a leviathan.
rosa on May 13, 2020:
leviathan will bite megs gills and meg is now a meatloaf
leviathan on May 13, 2020:
leviathan it has more tough body and better brain so it will bite of megs gills.
jasraj on May 07, 2020:
magladon because it is stronger
hello on May 07, 2020:
leviathan is big brain. and best defense. it will probably bite off megs gills and meg wil be a dead fish...
leviathan on May 07, 2020:
leviathan has 2 times bigger teeth and its smarter. meg can't just cut leviathan in half it depends on teeth. meg bite force: 20tons
Me cat on May 05, 2020:
because meg is faster
Me2 on May 03, 2020:
Livatan becouse new evidenc bring down megalodon size estimates to max 15m or 50 feet.
me 12 on April 28, 2020:
No MEGALODON because strongest bite in wourld
me on April 15, 2020:
leviathan wins its smart.
edwin on April 13, 2020:
MEGALODON FANS LIKE ME, I AM SO SORRY BUT LIVEATHAN WINS BECAUSE ITS MUCH MORE SMARTER:(
psytric on April 03, 2020:
Everyone is biased towards the meglodon because of the human's natural fear of sharks. The livyatan would probably win by a small margin not because of brains or agility but because of stronger bones, blubber armor, and a head ram. The shark would have a good chance if it ambushed the livyatan. Otherwise it would probably lose. There other animals that could beat megalodon like the Triassic "kraken", which fought off nine 45 ft long Shonisaurus and maybe a sperm whale, Mosasaurus or Shastasaurus.
Harvey on April 02, 2020:
WHale is wrong because the Meglodon can kill anything
Harvey Zhang on April 02, 2020:
Megalodon wins because it is bigger and faster and more stronger bites and it will bite all the fins of the Livyatan and the Livyatan will headbut the Meglodon and the Meglodon will destroy the Livyatan life it is just like Carcharadontsaurus bs I mean vs T Rex which Carcha is bigger and TRex teeth is larger and Carcha is faster and more stronger than the average TRex
Megalodon on April 01, 2020:
Meglodon will win it is not about it’s size because it is 40-60ft and the Livyatan is 40-60ft too so they are the same length but the Meglodon is 100tones and the Livyatan is 50tones but the true reason is it’s speeds which Megalodon is 56Km and the Livyatan is 50Km and the Meglodon bite was 18-20tones and the Livyatan is 10tones but the Livyatan got a bigger head which is used for headbuting which made the Meglodon 60% and the Meglodon bites all its fins but forget the killing one the tail and the Livyatan quick reacts using its bites and the Meglodon is 40% and the Livyatan is 50% and the bites the Livyatan tail and nearly managed to tore it off and the Livyatan is going to the surface to breath but the injuries slowed it down so the Meglodon did final kill chrunching the Livyatan heart and lungs and the Livyatan is no more
Carcharadontsaurs on March 31, 2020:
Meg would win because it is bigger faster and more stronger bits and bigger jaws but there is more advantages Meg can headbut the Livyatan belly but that would end in big trouble it can take huge chunks from the Livyatan but it must be ambush because it is not intelligent as the Livyatan and even it is fish so it can drown the poor beast poor Livyatan but if the Livyatan bellyflopped the Meglodon it is big trouble time for the Meglodon because it can not fight and it is having trouble because the Livyatan can throw it on land but the Meglodon still can play dead we all know that Meglodon has huge teeth but it turned out that the Livyatan has huger teeth but the Meglodon still wins
Harvey on March 31, 2020:
Megalodon would likely be the winner because with a much stronger biteforce and way faster and more thicker hide I mean skin and well adapted to the sea and slightly bigger but I think the Livyatan would win when the Meg is a teen and the Livyatan is a adult and Livyatan would because it is skater so it could react with a quick speed I wold give the winner to the Meg but it’s just slightly
Derrick B Edney on March 20, 2020:
The Prehistoric sperm whale Livayatan would have destroyed megalodon with tose ferocious huge teeth.
Whale on March 10, 2020:
Livyatan would win.The Meg was 40-60 ft, Livyatan was 40-60 ft so they were the same size. The reason Livyatan would win wasn’t because of its intelligence or agility but because of its blubber and ram. Megalodon bit the tales and fins of its prey instead of biting it directly because it can’t penetrate its blubber. Blubber=armor. One ram at the megalodon and it would be half dead. The meg must bite off the fins to win which can only be done in an ambush. Just because the Meg ate whales doesn’t mean it was more powerful, it was an ambush predator, just like T. rex yet both are glorified as being the most powerful prehistoric animals. There are many animals that could beat megalodon. Some say megalodon ate Livyatan but it was an ambush predator and Livyatan might have eaten it too. The modern sperm whale, fin whale, blue whale, Sei whale, Triassic kraken, pliosaurus and colossal squid could all beat the megalodon.
Jake King on February 25, 2020:
The Livyatan would win because the Meg went extinct while the sperm whales still exist.
Ras Thavas on February 01, 2020:
People assuming the Meg is bigger than Livyatan are operating on sheer speculation. We have no complete fossils of either and can only make guesses. In reality, they were most likely about the same size.
That would actually mean Livyatan was heavier because it had bones rather than cartilage for a skeleton. As a whale, it probably had echolocation too.
This last is not an insignificant advantage.
Most likely Livyatan and Megalodon avoided each other. In the instance of a fight between a full-grown male of the former and a full-grown female of the latter though, I think given what we know about modern sharks and whales in almost all instances, Livyatan wins, barring poor health or a preexisting injury that would compromise its ability to overcome Meg.
Emmit Foister on December 17, 2019:
I think the livyatan would win.
Luther Urswick (author) from USA on August 17, 2019:
@PeteD - That is an extremely well-researched comment. Thanks for participating in the discussion!
PeteD on August 16, 2019:
Livyatan is known from a single skull found in Peru in 2008. A single tooth that looks like it could have come from Livyatan was also found in Australia in 2016, but it could also have come from another, unknown, extinct sperm whale. Based on the skull that was found, the whole animal is estimated to have been 13.5-17.5 m long. This is about the same as modern male sperm whales, which are 16 m long and weigh 41 tonnes on average. Females are much smaller at 11 m and just 14 tonnes on average. I haven't been able to find anything that says whether the skull belonged to a male or female Livyatan, so I guess that's unknown, but I'm going to assume that it was a male Livyatan and that male and female Livyatans were similar in size to modern male and female sperm whales, respectively.
For Megalodon, just like for great whites, females were the larger sex at 13.3-17 m and 27.4-59.4 tonnes, i.e. about the same as modern male sperm whales and, I assume, male Livyatans. The smaller male Megalodons were 10.5-14.3 m long and weighed 12.6-33.9 tonnes, i.e. about the same as modern female sperm whales and, I assume, female Livyatans. Since for both species one sex was much larger than the other, the sex of the combatants would have made all the difference in a fight.
Some of the arguments in the comments seem to be based on false assumptions:
"I think Leviathan wins due to present day evidence of similar interactions between great whites and orcas."
Livyatan was a sperm whale, not an orca. Yes, its teeth were more like those of a scaled-up orca, but in terms of other aspects like speed and manoeuvrability, I think it would probably have been more like a modern sperm whale, and we don't have any evidence of modern sperm whales attacking great whites. Yes, if they had the teeth of Livyatan, then they probably would, but only because they're much bigger than great whites.
"Livyatan would easily win because of its intellect."
Dolphins, including large dolphins like killer whales and pilot whales that confusingly have the word "whale" in their English names, are highly intelligent. However, many other whales are only averagely intelligent for mammals and not much more intelligent than great whites. After some quick googling, I've found encephalization quotients (how big an animal's brain is compared to what you'd expect for an animal of that size, where 1 is average for mammals) of 0.41 for great whites, 0.56 and 0.58 for modern male sperm whales and 1.28 for modern female sperm whales. For comparison, I've found encephalization quotient values of 2.2-2.5 for chimpanzees, 2.57-3.3 for orcas, various values ranging from 4.14 to 5.31 for bottlenose dolphins and 7.4-7.8 for humans. In other words, while sperm whales are a bit more intelligent than great whites, they're not nearly as intelligent as truly intelligent animals.
In addition, while orcas use their intelligence to great effect while hunting, that's in the form of cooperation and communication, enabling very effective teamwork. In a one-on-one fight, that intelligence advantage wouldn't count for much. Megalodon would have been plenty intelligent enough to know how and when to dodge, lunge and bite, even if a group of them wouldn't have been able to mount a coordinated attack.
"Livyatan probably had a pod of up to around 5-20 whales much like modern pods."
While modern female and juvenile sperm whales live in pods, males are solitary except when breeding.
"Livyatan will go to the surface for air."
Modern sperm whales hold their breath for over an hour while hunting, and I seriously doubt that a fight would last that long.
Now we've cleared that up, here's the verdict:
1. Male Megalodon vs. male Livyatan
The male Livyatan wins owing to its significant size advantage.
2. Male Megalodon vs. female Livyatan
They're close in size, but female Livyatans probably lived in pods like modern female sperm whales, so the male Megalodon would have no chance.
3. Female Megalodon vs. male Livyatan
They're close in size and both solitary animals, so this would be a close one. I'm going to give it to the female Megalodon for its superior speed and manoeuvrability (based on the possibly flawed assumption that Livyatan was like a modern sperm whale in every respect except for its teeth).
(In reality, this pair would probably have been too evenly matched to have risked fighting each other and would have avoided each other as the risk of death or serious injury would have been too great for both animals.)
4. Female Megalodon vs. female Livyatan
The female Megalodon has the size advantage, but the female Livyatans live in a pod. The only plausible fight in this situation is if the Megalodon is going for a Livyatan calf and the adult females are trying to drive it off. This is the toughest match-up to call. I'd say the Megalodon sometimes manages to get a calf before being driven off and sometimes doesn't but rarely kills an adult female and is rarely killed by the pod of adult females. Let's call it a draw.
So that makes a 2-1 victory to Livyatan because the smaller females live in pods, whereas the smaller male Megalodons don't, but Livyatan wouldn't always win as the outcome depends enormously on the individual animals involved, particularly on their sex.
Kyle on July 29, 2019:
The meg wins due to strength,bite force and all around the meg is the real king of the ocean, BUT that doesn't mean the livyatan isnt strong it is still able to kill a meg but I think most of the time the meg wins although I think the meg is king, maybe the livyatan has something that we havent discovered that could kill the megalodon...Who knows?
Brett on July 21, 2019:
I think Leviathan wins due to present day evidence of similar interactions between great whites and orcas. Granted we will never know 100% what occurred back then but I’d also reference the social groups that most whale species seem to travel in specifically the predatory whales and dolphins (sperm whales, orcas, and other dolphin species). Again I don’t think it’s going to one or the other in every encounter but I’d put my money on the predatory whale.
megalodon is the best9000 on June 21, 2019:
The megalodon will win please trust me.The megalodon first swim to find food.The livyatan saw the shark and know it was megalodon enemy.suddenly the livyatan charge.Luckily the megalodon smell the livyatan and got it first attack.it bite it fin.Then it is the whale turn to attack.But first it need to breath.Then the megalodon bite it right and left arm.The whale try to bite.But it is too late the megalodon kill the livyatan and let it sink.P.S. this whale hunt alone.
Max chung on June 21, 2019:
I don,t think the megalodon lose because the megalodon is bigger.P.S. the whale need air and while the whale have air,megalodon bite it body and then the whale tries to attack but it was too late.The whale sink and die
ccccccccccccccccccccccccc on June 19, 2019:
If it was just the megalodon vs the whale, then the megalodon would win for obvious reasons such as it's superior speed, bite force and mass. But, if we think of real life, not just them being put in an underwater ring, then the whale would win. Whales hunt in packs, and often don't eat each other (as none are really predators nowadays) , whereas the megalodon is solitary and would eat it's own kind and probably it's babies. If a solitary megalodon came up against a pod of these whales, then the intelligence of the levyatan would mean that it would win. The whales would use tactics to encircle the megalodon, and they would all attack at once with their sonar communications. This would leave the megalodon totally out of it's depth (pun intended) and it would be taken out quickly. For the aforementioned reasons, I believe that in real life, the whale would win.
idk on May 25, 2019:
Megalodon had the strongest bite force of any animal that ever existed. Megalodon's bite force was 40,000 pounds of bite force. That's five times the bite force of a Tyrannosaurus rex!
Elias on May 03, 2019:
They said megalodon because it had a stronger bite force and more robust body so If livytan rammed megalodon could endure the hit and I'm a smart biologist man so believe me so megalodon win 51 % of the time livyatan 49% of the time
Jonathan on May 02, 2019:
If Megalodon was just as vulnerable to being turned over as is the modern great white, Livyatan with its superior intellect (and by extension, presumably at least a modicum social skills, even among a primarily solitary species) would likely have exploited that and have shared that tactic among individuals. Especially with presumably superior manueveribilty, the whale may have evaded the shark's straight-ahead speed with a sneaky nudge to turn its adversary over and paralyze it. Just as orcas do to great whites.
Gaa on April 02, 2019:
I think its kind of like the collossal squid vs sperm whale kinda thing
Lucas on March 25, 2019:
I think the whale would win because the whale has bigger teeth so the teeth can just sink in.
Yoinkus on January 25, 2019:
the thing is it doesn't really matter about how smart or intelligent the whale was, or how it had bigger teeth. what you don't realize is the thickness of the Megalodon's jaws to the Livyatan's. it is bigger stronger and has a quicker speed. Although if the Livyatan could get a bite on the gills of the shark it will be hard for it to though, due to the fact the Megalodn's speed would counter that attack really easily. plus the megalodon had hard skin and it would have been hard for a Livyatan to penetrate it.
Onion Bunion on December 04, 2018:
It does somewhat depend on who bites who first. But lets say they collided head on. who do you think would win then?
QAwesomeMeg on November 29, 2018:
Megalodon, even though Livyatan was smarter, and both 60ft, Megalodon was faster, and had a stronger bite force. But Livyatan May have won.
owlboi on November 25, 2018:
Depends who gets a bite in first. megaladons liked to to bite the fins of large whales, so they can't move. however, if levyatan could get a bite in first, it would win because levyatans go for the spine and back, and the megaladon would not be able to move.
Captain That Guy on November 22, 2018:
Livyatan would easily win because of its intellect. Megalodon really only knew 3 words. Me want lunch! While livyatan had a good brain. Also megalodon had exposed body parts like the gills. If livyatan were to damage them the shark would be doomed. Most will think the megalodon would win because it has been stereotyped to be SUPER powerful. livyatan is a new discovered species and most will judje it because Oh its a whale whales are gentle. Sharks are best. WRONG ANSWER. sharks are stupid whales are not. Oh and to livyatan meg is right they were both 18 metres(60 feet). Really in a fight only intelligence and speed would be effective. while livyatan was maybe only about 10 km slower but the whale was about 3 times as intelligent
Meg on November 06, 2018:
The Livyathan Melvillei was not bigger then the Megalodon they were the same
Livyatan on November 02, 2018:
I'd have to say 75% to Livyatan. It was smarter, bigger, and that's not to mention the Livyatan's tooth size (over a FOOT long).
NO MORE DOUBT on November 01, 2018:
Guys, I know you're all thinking differently but...
If these apex predators came together to fight, bite force won't be very useful, however, the megalodon has a speed that is much higher than the leviathan, and the leviathan has an intellect a megalodon never had. However, if you're a sea creature, speed is the most important ability. The Megalodon will charge towards the leviathan and if the leviathan is to slow to react, the megalodon gets a big chomp, however, if it is, the Megalodon will shoot right past it. The leviathans tooth size won't do anything as it just pierces the prey a little bit deeper. the tooth size only matters for the actual bite as it will help its strength. But, the megalodon's bite force is the strongest ever. And that's only if (big if) the leviathan can actually land a hit on the megalodon, which it likely won't. the leviathans intellect will only drive its instinct to run away, which it will fail miserably because of the megalodons speed.
This concludes that the megalodon will 100% dominate the battle.
aiden on August 30, 2018:
this seems unfair. but much like modern cetaceans (whales, dolphins , and porpoises) its likely that the livyatan did not live a solitary life. livyatans are likely relatives to an orca or a sperm whale. either of these relatives both work in pods for self defense. the livyatan probably had a pod of up to around 5-20 whales much like modern pods. cetaceans are smart while working together and can flip over and paralyze a megalodon, or bite the megalodons vulnerable underbelly. plus the livyatan was about the same size as the megalodon. numbers will always win. but it is not always matter the number of livyatans that it takes win but the fact that the livyatan can dive to deeper depths due to thick blubber and jet the upper hand on an attack both animals could most certainly kill each other in one bite. and just because the megalodons bite force was the strongest doesn't mean that the livyatans was weak ether. there isn't an accurate way to record speed or maneuverability but judging from modern cetaceans the livyatan might have out maneuvered the megalodon. i could disagree any of the animals EASILY winning because both would have a difficult fight. but most of the time the winner goes to livyatan just because it can most likely 1. dive a few hundred meters deeper due to thick blubber .2 the livyatan would not give the un-intelligent megalodon time to think out its attack .3 livyatan likely had an upper hand on different ways to intercept the attack like for example the megalodon is closer to the surface so the livyatan will be smart and have time to use what ever current advantage it has over the megalodon. the LIKELY winner of this battle is the livyatan. i have been studying about prehistoric marine life for years and i know who would LIKELY win the battle
Anthony on August 25, 2018:
This is funny how they only found a tooth for the shark and assumed it was bigger,there's no shark in history that can be proving to be bigger then any sperm whale,todays sharks won't even attempt to hunt a mordern day sperm whale,what think back then a shark would,the shark is not even top predator today,it's the killer whale,lavyatan was bigger smarter then a megalodon,which they only found teeth of the shark they calling the king of the prehistoric ocean,bull shit,y'all give that shark to much false story's,if it was the top predator back then,how come it's not now,and then they down play the whales size and length,lavyatan was bigger and longer then the mordern day sperm whale,not just alil bigger,cause if that was the case,lavyatan would still be here,how you only find Meg's teeth and find lavyatan skull and teeth and then say some bull shit like, the shark was this big and that long and it was top predator,you would think they would know more about the lavyatan then the shark, lavyatan wins hands down all the way,it's common sense people
Deadliest fiction wikia user. on June 30, 2018:
Edge: Megalodon, no doubt
Though the leviathan has big sharp teeth, the megalodon’s powerful bite force is the equivalent of a kick in the balls. The leviathan’s bite force is mike tyson’s punch while the megalodon’s is mikes bite.
The leviathan is very bulky and is more likely to survive a seriour injury than the megalodon.
Speed is a sharks specialty. The leviathan in no way is shaped to keep up the pace in corners in its deadly charge. The megalodon however uses its agility to overcome bigger whales, its likely that they know how to turn corners while being quick.
Megalodon’s tactic is about killing whales by using ambush tactics, it uses its powerful bite force as its advantage. The leviathan uses simple charge tactics, this puts it in a playdown level.
The leviathan however has intellect that the megalodon does not posses. Intellegence however is not enough to overcome dealdy tactics and stealth. This is a tie because intellegence gives off a big bonus but stealth and tactics are 2 small bonus as big as the intellegence bonus.
Megalodon: 2 edges
Leviathan: 1 edges
1 tie point.
Megalodon is the winner, tactics and stealth together paired with veteran anti-whale tactics destroys the whale whos only advantage is size and durability. This match up is similar to a man with an anti-tank weapon against an armored vehicle. The anti-tank guy mighht be fragile but is completely the counter to the tough armored vehicle.
Gooodmon on May 26, 2018:
A orca not orcas can kill any great white it runs into and has time after time so if it favors the killer whale like some other sites have said it would be no different
Eidjaz on April 15, 2018:
Livyatan is a sperm whale megalodon is a shark eatimg whale megalodon sometimes wins but livyatan sometimes wins too
Jianing on February 15, 2018:
Megalodon,it had a stronger bite than the livyatan.Plus,it was faster and more agile than the livyatan,but the livyatan was smarter than the megalodon and can use it to its advantage.Anyways,this battle reminds me of a giant octopus(livyatan) fighting against a sperm whale(megalodon)(the outcome,not the animals themselves.Man,just picture a livyatan with 8 arms...).
Anon on January 31, 2018:
Megalodon it is. Although Livayatan was a dangerous bounty, Megalodon preyed on similar whales regularly. Its superior bite force, speed and strength was what gave it the edge in its dangerous ocean world against all kinds of other apex predators, including large and dangerous whales. Shark is victorious.
rexy on January 30, 2018:
livayatan would win because it has the biggest teeth of all animals and intelligent than all ocean predator
Aubsternet on January 24, 2018:
I would say this is a close fight, but I think Megalodon wins because of its girth and bite force. I also think that the Orca vs Great White isn't really a fair example. Orcas hunt in pods, are bigger, stronger, faster and way more intelligence, not that intelligence matters because that's like saying a physicist could beat up a trained MMA fighter. Also, say it's 4 Orcas and 1 Great White, all the Oracs have to do is flip the shark over and it's immobile. Great Whites can be considered prey of Orca Whales, even though I believe that a Great White could we in s fight against an Orca if it's alone. But a Livyatan vs a Megalodon. These were apex predators with equal strengths and some advantages and disadvantages for both animals. Megalodon had its bite force (which is useless if it doesn't get to bite the whale). Livyatan had intelligence (which doesn't matter if the shark ambushes it). I like both, but I've liked sharks my entire life and just because I like it more, I'm gonna say the Megalodon pulls of the victory. Again, it's probably 50/50 chance for both.
Troy on January 03, 2018:
Megalodon for me. Since it's a shark it's faster and more agile than the whale. I believe they have almost the same size and strength or maybe bite force since livyatan eat the same prey as megalodon. I don't think livyatan hunts sharks considering there are no known evidences of that but the megalodon is used to hunting whales and livyatan is one of them. Using the killer whale and great white argument is wrong. Killer whales are bigger, stronger, faster, more agile, and smarter than the great white so they win because they have all the advantages plus killer whales are not actually whales but more like oversized dolphins so that's why they also have the agility advantage. Granted livyatan is smarter than the megalodon but they have the same size and strenght and the megalodon is faster and more agile. Whales are smarter because they can communicate and socialize better than sharks but not because they can "hunt better" and the same goes for dolphins. Megalodon wins this in a very close and brutal match!
No on January 02, 2018:
Livyatan win the livyatan is a killer whale and the megalodon a greate white shark a killer whale os stornger
MAJIN VEGETA on December 27, 2017:
I think Livyatan Melvillei will win because they were so huge and teeth are bigger than megalodon and they were more intelligent than megalodon so 100% Livyatan Melvillei win this battle
Chris Perrin on September 14, 2017:
Leviathan wins... Just like killer whales and large sharks today
Justin on August 18, 2017:
I belive the Levyathan wins because we don't know if I'd lived in pods, so if it did megalodon would become lunch
Do Kalied on August 17, 2017:
Megalodon was not built like a normal shark and was more robust than the whale so o voted megalodon
YEaaaaaaBoiiii on August 17, 2017:
megalodon wins the match pretty easy had alot more teeth
kinda 15-18 cm long it had 276 teeth and strongest bite force of al
animals ever lived 41.000 pounds that around 19 tons but the livyatan whale had twice bigger teeth megalodon was faster with 70 kmh and megalodon also had a thick body so it can take a hit mabye megalodon would go for his flippers first so -1 flipper almost impossible to run from megalodon and he also need to breath he need to go up to breath so it would drown and megalodon had a good lunch in my opinion :}
k on August 15, 2017:
I just absolutly love how everyone declares megalodon winner solely because of its bite force. Sure its a guranteed kill with a bite that could crush a car, but remember that livyatan also has an instakilling bite, so all it matters is who attacks first. 50 50 to me.
Adz on August 01, 2017:
i think its just like giant squid and sperm whale there is a 50 50 chance of either of them winning
Lad on July 25, 2017:
i think megalodon because it have the most powerful biteforce in history powerful than a T.Rex!and hunt bigger whales but when livyatan did live in pods well it can kill the 59 feet megalodon but if scientist found a larger teeth of a megalodon yeah megalodon can kill a pod of livytan but its still not confirmed of livyatan live in pods and if livyatan did not live in pods well megalodon can kill them because there is some whales that did not live in pods
Triceraraptor on June 20, 2017:
Don't get me wrong Livyatan is a pretty powerful whale and there's a possibility that Moby Dick is based on this creature(if this is true then I'm pretty sure that megalodon would have had a hard time killing it).The megalodon would have had the advantage though 88% of the time though.