Livyatan Vs Megalodon: Who Would Win in a Fight of Two Ancient Sea Giants?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: March 15, 2022
Image Credit Herschel Hoffmeyer/Shutterstock.com
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Whales and sharks are competitors and enemies in the present, and that is nothing new. Millions of years ago, the hunting whale called Livyatan (L. melvillei) had to compete with the massive shark called megalodon (O. megalodon) for resources. These two lived together over 9 million years ago, but the megalodon was the last one standing, living as few as 3.6 million years ago. That begs the question, which creature would win a Livyatan vs megalodon fight?

Take a look as we examine the Livyatan and megalodon and show you which of these creatures came out on top!

Comparing a Livyatan and a Megalodon

Livyatan vs Megalodon
Livyatan and Megalodon were two of the most fearsome predators of ancient seas

A-Z-Animals.com

LivyatanMegalodon
SizeWeight: 62.8 tons
Length: 44ft-57ft estimated
Weight: 50 tons
Length: upwards of 67 feet
Speed and Movement Type5-20 mph estimated relative to sperm whales
– Propels body with tail in an up-and-down motion
11 mph
– Undulating, side-to-side motions of body and tail are used for propulsion
Senses– Likely used echolocation like sperm whales
– Good hearing
– Probably had a bad sense of taste and smell    
– A highly attuned sense of smell
– Great vision, especially in low-light settings
– Hearing is strong enough to hear splashing prey
– Ampullae of Lorenzini helped detect living creatures.
Defenses– Incredibly large size
– Speed bursts to escape predators
– Massive size
– Speed
Offensive Capabilities– Massive teeth in both jaws
– Teeth measured over 1ft in length
– Powerful bite that dug into preys and ripped away large amounts of flesh
– Jaws exceeding 6.5 feet in diameter, possibly 9 feet.
– 250 teeth, about 7-inches long each
Bite exceeding 108,000N
– High swim speed
Predatory Behavior– Apex predator
– Pursuit predation of large creatures such as whales, sharks, dolphins, and more      
– Stealthy predatory that ambushed prey

What Are Key Differences Between a Livyatan and a Megalodon?

Megalodon vs. Mosasaurus - Megalodon
Megalodon was a monstrous shark that was even more dangerous than any sharks today

Herschel Hoffmeyer/Shutterstock.com

The major differences between Livyatan and megalodon lie in their morphology and sensory abilities. Livyatan was essentially a very large sperm whale with large teeth on the upper and lower half of their jaws that used echolocation to find prey, and megalodon was similar to a great white shark or mako shark with a torpedo-shaped body and very keen senses of smell and the ability to detect electrical fields from prey.

Furthermore, the Livyatan propelled itself through water by waving its tail up and down while the megalodon moved its tail side to side. These are the most obvious differences between the creatures, but several others exist. We are going to examine the major differences between these animals in light of their ability to do battle.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Livyatan and a Megalodon?

Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon)
Megalodon had massive jaws and sharp teeth with which to kill its foes

Warpaint/Shutterstock.com

When trying to figure out which animal wins during a massive fight, we have to think about the big picture. That means focusing on a handful of key factors that would have a massive impact on the battle. In this case, we’re going to focus on physical elements as well as the intangibles like combat skills.

We’ll assign advantages to each animal throughout this comparison and show you ways that each animal could come out on top.  

Livyatan vs Megalodon: Size

The Livyatan was larger than the megalodon. According to estimates based on the size of a recovered skull, this animal weighed up to 62 tons and grew 57 feet in length. The megalodon could reach weights of 50 tons (and possibly beyond) and would grow up to 67 feet long.

Thus, the more accurate way to look at the situation is that the megalodon was possibly longer but we’ll take more conservative estimates of Megalodon’s size and classify it as less heavy than Livyatan.

Livyatan has the size advantage over megalodon.

Livyatan vs Megalodon: Speed and Movement

A Livyatan was probably faster than the megalodon. Again, we are dealing with estimates based on existing animals in many cases. It’s believed that the Livyatan could move at similar speeds to sperm whales, between 5 and 20 mph. Megalodons could move at about 11 mph, perhaps faster when closing on prey.

Livyatan has the advantage in terms of speed.

Livyatan vs Megalodon: Senses

Megalodon had amazing senses that they could use to hunt their prey. They had an incredibly sensitive sense of smell along with great vision and hearing. Moreover, they can detect electrical fields coming from prey via the ampullae of Lorenzini.

Livyatan’s senses were not as good. They used echolocation to find prey and communicate with others, and they had good hearing. However, their senses of taste and smell were thought to be poor.

Megalodon has the advantage in senses.

Livyatan vs Megalodon: Physical Defenses

Livyatan - Ancient Sperm Whale
Livyatan has teeth that could reach 14 inches in length.

Herschel Hoffmeyer/Shutterstock.com

The megalodon was a very large apex predator in the ocean waters, and its size made most enemies steer clear of it. However, it also had enough speed to outrun some foes as well. Livyatan was even larger and more imposing. It was probably the largest creature in the ocean during its lifetime, and it was not a baleen whale with bristle-like teeth. A Livyatan could bite into or through most creatures!

Livyatan vs Megalodon: Combat Skills

Megalodon was even deadlier than the most powerful sharks alive today. It had the enormous size to go with its incredible hunting senses. This shark would try to sneak up on its foes and bite them in their chest cavities, killing them by crushing organs and exsanguination.

The Livyatan wasn’t that much different in how it attacked. This large, surprisingly speedy creature probably hunted through pursuit predation, wearing down other whales or dolphins during a chase and then drowning them. For smaller sharks, it would probably just bite them using its massive teeth that measured over a foot in length.  

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Livyatan and a Megalodon?

Livyatan vs Megalodon
Livyatan would emerge victorious in the battle of these two sea giants!

Herschel Hoffmeyer/Shutterstock.com

A Livyatan would win a fight against a megalodon. The Livyatan has the size and speed advantage, bigger teeth, and it has the endurance to last through a long fight. Another problem for the megalodon stems from the way that megalodons attack. They prefer to dig into the stomachs of their prey. In this case, they’re going to get blood and blubber on their first few bites, and that’s not going to help it kill a massive whale.

Even if it managed to sneak up on the Livyatan and land the first attack, it would not benefit them much. The fight would turn into a bite for bite trade, and the Livyatan can take more damage than a megalodon.

The truth is that these creatures probably traded kills, and one never dominated the other with any great frequency. Sharks are brutal and crafty, and whales might not be able to catch a crafty megalodon. Still, if we had to pick a winner, the Livyatan gets the nod.  

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About the Author

I am a freelancer specializing in SEO content writing. I write in a variety of niches such as video games, animals, and managed service providers. I've been writing full-time since 2018, so I've been doing remote work before it was cool. When I'm not working, I can be found reading, trying to catch up on my tv show backlog, playing video games, and starting stories that I'll never finish.

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