Jessica Rose-Standafer Owens found an ancient shark tooth measuring 5.75 inches and weighing 15.9 ounces

By Ally Mauch
June 12, 2020 07:07 PM
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Ancient shark tooth discovered
| Credit: Jessica Rose-Standafer Owens

Jessica Rose-Standafer Owens was exploring the muddy banks of a river near Charleston, South Carolina when she came upon a shark tooth that she instantly realized was larger than normal.

She had discovered a tooth that once belonged to a Megalodon — a massive prehistoric predator that grew to be "between 15 and 18 meters in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark," reports London's Natural History Museum.

Like every other part of the Megalodon shark, the extinct animal's teeth were also very large. The tooth Owens found measured  5.75 inches and weighed 15.9 ounces — just under a pound.

"I became excited and asked my husband (Simon) to come down and to grab the phone (to record), because who would believe we found one that close to the surface? I always hear of people finding them by digging and/or diving," Owens told McClatchy News of her discovery in late May.

Owens lives in Charleston with her husband and said they had only been searching in the river banks for about 10 minutes when she saw the tooth.

She added that they had visited the river once before to search, but the tide was too high to allow closer inspection. The coastal area in South Carolina is known for having teeth from ancient Megalodons because it was previously a seafloor.

Owens posted a video of the discovery to her TikTok and shared the news, along with some photos and videos, on her Facebook page.

According to the Facebook post, the nearby Mace Brown Museum of Natural History at the College of Charleston estimated that the tooth is between 3 and 5 million years old.

"We were shocked," Owens told McClatchy. "The tooth is just incredible and it’s mind-boggling that we now have a fossil on our mantle that is 3-5 million years old. Just wild."