Man Finds Tooth Belonging to Ancient Megalodon Shark on Florida Beach

A perfectly preserved megalodon tooth has been found on a beach in Florida.

Local resident, Jacob Danner, spotted the fossil during an early morning walk along the Fernandina Beach shore, documenting his remarkable discovery in a video posted to Facebook.

"It's my first whole megalodon tooth. I have found fragments, which they call 'fragalodon' affectionately, but this one—this is a beauty," he said.

Megalodon is believed to be the biggest shark, and one of the most formidable predators, that has ever lived.

It's estimated to have been capable of growing to 65 feet in length. Great white sharks, by comparison, can grow up to 23 feet in length.

Megalodons are estimated to have roamed the seas from approximately 23 million years ago, up until 2.6 million years ago, preying on whales and other large marine animals.

Fossils have been discovered all around the world, strongly suggesting that their territory spanned much of the globe, though the coasts of North and South Carolina are relative hotspots for megalodon remains.

Since shark skeletons are mostly composed of cartilage, which tends to decompose quickly, the vast majority of what we know about the prehistoric predator has been revealed by its teeth, which have become highly sought after due to their rarity, their iconic shape and serrated edges, and their immense size.

The word 'megalodon' itself literally translates as 'large tooth.'

While it isn't clear just how large the tooth that Danner discovered is, in pictures it appears to cover most of the palm of his hand, making it moderate by megalodon standards.

However, it appears to be in incredibly good condition, with no obvious signs of damage.

Megalodon teeth often exceed 6 inches from top to bottom, and the biggest and best-preserved specimens can fetch enormous sums of money online.

The website FossilEra currently has a 5.65-inch megalodon tooth listed for sale for $3,295.

Until recently, scientists may have been underestimating the size of megalodons.

In a research paper published in March, Victor Perez, an assistant curator of paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum in Maryland, revealed that the maximum length of a megalodon could be 65 feet, rather than 50 to 55 feet, as had been previously suspected.

Danner also found sea turtle tracks during his walk, which led to a nest.

"I just found my first megalodon tooth," he said in the video. "That is a huge shark's tooth."

"Sea turtle nests, megalodon tooth find, it's been a morning of treasures, so I'm a happy man!" he added.

A megalodon tooth and great white teeth
A stock image shows the tooth of a megalodon alongside two great white shark teeth. Based on the size of their teeth, megalodons are believed to have been capable of growing to 65 feet long. Mark Kostich/iStock