Sharks, especially large species, are highly mobile organisms with a complex life history and wide distribution. Fossil records of Carcharodon megalodon indicate that it was cosmopolitan, and commonly occurred in subtropical to temperate latitudes. Prior to the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, the seas were relatively warmer. This would have made it possible for the species to live in all the oceans of the world.
Carcharodon megalodon had enough behavioral flexibility to inhabit wide range of marine environments (i.e. coastal shallow waters, coastal upwelling, swampy coastal lagoons, sandy littorals, and offshore deep water environments), and exhibited a transient life-style. Adult Carcharodon megalodon were not abundant in shallow water environments, and mostly lurked offshore. Carcharodon megalodon may have moved between coastal and oceanic waters, particularly in different stages in its life cycle.