Nov 3rd - 8th6am
675 Airport Avenue East
FEATURED GROUP PROJECT:
Restoring the Megalodon Shark Guinness World Record
In 2014 the Sarasota Chalk Festival moved to the Island of Venice, Florida, the shark tooth capital of the world. Celebrating the move, our small nonprofit organized and secured a Guinness World Record for the Largest Anamorphic Pavement Painting ever created. The original design was created by 3D pavement art innovator and artist Kurt Wenner. The artistic team who painted the record was lead by pavement artist Julie Kirk. The artistic team consisted of 30 professional pavement artists and dozens of volunteers. The final painting of the Megalodon Shark spanned two football fields at the Venice Airport Fairgrounds and took 10 days to complete.
This November the painting will be 5 years old and has faded considerably. It now looks like a very old weathered Florida postcard that has been in the sun and rain without any protection.
When our organization did the project in 2014 it cost an estimated 150K and was made possible by many generous sponsors. We will need just as much support to do the restoration.
Kurt Wenner will redesign a new element into the painting and Julie Kirk will again lead the team of artists. Artists will gather a week in advance of the Chalk Festival to restore and change the original illusion. Sponsors and volunteers will be needed to pull this off again for the region.
The Megalodon Shark Was The Largest Predator That Ever Lived
The Megalodon reached lengths of up to 60 feet and an estimated maximum weight of over 60 tons, making it the largest known predator in Earth’s history. The modern Sperm Whale is longer, but probably not as heavy as the Megalodon. To compare this size, the largest modern Great White sharks max out around 23 feet and 3 ½ tons. This makes the Megalodon nearly 3 times as long, and 20 times and heavy as the Great White Shark.
The Megalodon’s massive size also dwarfs that of the large, extinct marine reptiles like the Mosasaurus, Tylosaurus and Liopleurodon on a weight basis.
Teeth Are Relatively Common Fossils - Even in Venice, Florida
Fossil Megalodon teeth are relatively common fossils in many areas of the world. Like other sharks the Megalodon lost it’s teeth as it grew, they became worn or broken. Their teeth also were very solid and fossilized quite easily. While Megalodon teeth in general can be quite common, large or exceptionally well preserved specimens can be very rare, and can fetch big bucks from collectors. For example, 7” Megalodon teeth are so rare, the last one sold for nearly $50k, while small or broken teeth can be quite inexpensive.
The Megalodon Went Extinct Around 2.6 Million Years Ago
The Megalodon shark went extinct around 2.6 million years ago. During this time, the Earth underwent significant climate changes which would have but significant pressures on the Megalodon. The Oceans cooled and sea levels dropped, and many large marine mammals which the Megalodon relied on for food disappeared.
The Megalodon Had The Most Powerful Bite of Any Known Animal
The Megalodon is believed to have had the most powerful bite of any animal, and it’s not even close. Computer models estimate the Megalodon’s bite force between 24,000 to 40,000 pounds (10,900 to 18,100 kilograms), This is 6-10 times that of the Great White shark and modern crocodiles, This is also 2-3 times that of the estimated bite force of 12,800 pounds for T-Rex and the large Mosasaurs. This enormous bite force could literally bite a small whale in half.
In fact, the Megalodon Ate Whales For Breakfast
This gigantic shark obviously required a massive amount of food and it’s been estimated an adult Megalodon may have had to consume over a ton of food per day to sustain itself. Fossil evidence points to the Megalodon preying on whales and other large marine mammals such as Sea Cows and Sea Lions.