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SYFY WIRE Megalodon

Florida Woman Finds Fossilized Megalodon Tooth on the Beach

A piece of true buried treasure.

By Cassidy Ward
the jaws of a Megalodon

The literally named Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus (streaming now on Peacock) answers the immortal question of who would win a fight between a megalodon and a giant prehistoric cephalopod. While wholly fictional, the movie does demonstrate the sorts of fights which might have been common a few million years ago. And we glimpse them in the scattered fossils left behind.

Unfortunately for scientists and fossil collectors, sharks don’t have many hard tissues and most of what we know about ancient species like the megalodon come from the teeth they left scattered over the seafloor. Recently, one lucky shark tooth hunter in Florida stumbled upon the find of a lifetime when they lifted a beautifully preserved megalodon tooth from the sand.

Ancient Fossilized Megalodon Tooth Washed Up on Florida Beach

Megalodon’s aren’t just the stars of toothy disaster flicks, they are also the largest known predatory shark species to ever exist. Megalodons stretched dozens of feet in length and dominated the world’s oceans from 23 million to 3.6 million years ago. They are believed to have been closely related to modern white sharks, but most of what we know about them is speculation.

RELATED: Megalodon Could Have Eaten a Killer Whale Whole

Scientists rely on comparisons between their gargantuan hand-sized teeth and those of modern sharks to infer what megalodon might have looked like and how it might have behaved. Beth Orticelli, a retired teacher and passionate shark tooth collector, found the megalodon tooth while walking along Florida’s Manasota Beach.

Cassidy Megalodon and shark GETTY

Orticelli has found dozens of teeth since moving to the area, which she has collected in a container at her home. The recently found megalodon tooth has now taken center stage in her collection, where it eclipses nearly everything else she’s found combined. She says hunting for shark teeth is a good way to get a little exercise, pass the time, and grow her collection. “It’s meditative. I call it shark aerobics. It’s walking and squatting and picking up things you see,” Orticelli told Action News 5.

While megalodon teeth in good condition can command thousands of dollars to the right collector, Orticelli says the personal value of the find is too great. When a serrated piece of ancient history travels through the literal sands of time to find you, it’s probably difficult to put a price on. She has no plans to sell.

See megalodon for yourself live and livid in Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus, streaming now on Peacock.

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