Florida Museum begins year of giant fossils with Megalodon opening Oct. 4

Published: October 3 2014


GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- After six years of touring the country to more than 1 million visitors, the Florida Museum of Natural History welcomes “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived” home beginning Oct. 4.

Produced by the Florida Museum, the exhibit tells the story of the largest shark that ever lived. It features a 60-foot-long walk-through sculpture of Megalodon and describes the evolution, biology and legends of giant prehistoric sharks. Though this dominant marine predator vanished 2 million years ago, its fascinating story inspires lessons for science and shark conservation.

The museum will host opening celebration activities from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 26.

“We decided to bring ‘Megalodon’ home for a visit partway through its very successful nationwide tour,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum exhibits and public program director. “This allows us to add new information about Megalodon research and showcase the popular exhibit again for our visitors.”

“Megalodon” displays both fossil and modern shark specimens as well as full-scale models from several collections. Visitors can enter a full-size metal sculpture of Megalodon through its massive jaws and stand inside to admire the sheer size of the ancient creature. Through hands-on, family-friendly interactive components, visitors may also discover the shark’s history and the world it inhabited, including its diet, life span, relatives, neighbors and extinction, as well as how it has influenced human culture.

A new component features recent Florida Museum shark research, including the discovery of the first Megalodon nursery and information on newly excavated fossils from Panama.

“Truly back by popular demand, ‘Megalodon’ is one of the most frequently requested exhibits by our museum visitors,” MacMahon said.

The Florida Museum will display the exhibit through Jan. 4, 2015.

While at the Florida Museum, “Megalodon” will be accompanied by “Sharkabet: A Sea of Sharks From A to Z,” a whimsical art exhibition showcasing paintings of different extinct and living shark species for each letter of the alphabet by artist Ray Troll.

“Megalodon” was produced by the Florida Museum with support from the National Science Foundation. The exhibit begins a year-long celebration of giant fossils. In 2015, the Florida Museum will host “A T. rex Named Sue,” an exhibit about the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever discovered.

“Sharkabet: A Sea of Sharks From A to Z” was produced by The Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science. Artwork by Ray Troll.

For more information, visit http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/exhibits.


Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu