Jeffrey Heim was diving along the Myakka River Sunday, searching for prehistoric shark teeth, when he felt something he compares to the propeller from a boat hitting him at 50mph. What it actually was: an alligator that attacked him, biting his head and hand, ABC Action News reports. The 25-year-old Tampa, Florida, man, who collects the megalodon teeth and sells them, says if he'd received the injuries on a different part of his body he could have died. He required 34 staples and suffered a skull fracture.
Alligators are more aggressive during mating season in May and June, and the experienced diver says he should have realized a gator could have been trying to protect her eggs at the time. "I was inside its mouth," he tells NBC News, noting that if the gator, which he estimates was 9 feet long, hadn't decided to let go, things could have been much worse. He is expected to make a full recovery, and he says he hopes wildlife officials do not kill the gator if it is found. (Read more Florida stories.)