Imagine a ferocious marine hunter up to 20 metres long, weighing twice as much as a humpback whale and ten times more than Tyrannosaurus rex. With jaws that open three metres wide, crammed with 276 serrated fangs, it can bite down with the greatest force of any animal that has ever lived.
This is Megalodon, and it once existed 3 million years ago. Next to the dinosaurs, wiped out 66 million years ago, it is but a stone's throw into our murky past when monsters reigned. Its name means 'giant tooth' but everything about it is gigantic: its exceptional lifespan, each stalking the ocean deep for more than a century, and its pups, born at more than two metres long, having likely eaten their siblings in the womb.
Marking a milestone in palaeontology, in Big Meg acclaimed conservationist, palaeontologist and explorer Tim Flannery and his scientist daughter Emma tell the story of this enthralling great shark for the first time – what we know about where and how it lived, bred, hunted and died. He also shows how it continues to fascinate us. Despite its extinction, the big meg continues to kill a few humans each year: its victims those who dive in murky and dangerous waters in search of its glorious, magnetically beautiful relics.
From the stories we tell about it, to the quest to uncover more of the mystery surrounding it, this is the biography of the ultimate apex predator and a compelling exploration of its awesome grip on the human imagination today.
Professor Tim Flannery is a palaeontologist, conservationist, and leading writer on climate change, whose previous books include The Weather Makers. Currently, he is Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Climate Change at the Australian Museum, Sydney.
Emma Flannery is a scientist and writer. She has explored caves, forests and oceans across most of the globe's continents in search of elusive fossils, animals and plants. Her research and writing on geology, chemistry and palaeontology have been published in scientific journals, children's books and a number of museum-based adult education tours.
"If you are not already addicted to Tim Flannery's writing, discover him now."
– Jared Diamond
"Tim Flannery is the real thing: a man with a gift for lucid exposition, who can really make his subject come alive."
– Literary Review
"This man is a national treasure, and we should heed his every word"
– Sunday Telegraph