In Search of Sharks Teeth

The weather outside is frightful … starting today, but yesterday in southwest Florida, it was beautiful and we took advantage of it to head to the beach.  Not in the boat, as we would have preferred, but we’d prefer not to be anchored out in the 30+ knot winds and mid-30’s degree temperatures forecast for this afternoon & tonight.

We both love beachcombing, luckily.  David loves finding fossilized sharks teeth.  Unfortunately, our favorite anchorages from SW Florida through the Everglades and Keys, don’t have beaches with sharks teeth.  If we want to find sharks teeth, we have to go north – Venice is the shark tooth capital, but we didn’t go that far.

Blind Pass Beach on Florida's Southwest Coast

Blind Pass Beach on Florida’s Southwest Coast

Beachcombing is all about finding treasures … and surprises.  Imagine our surprise when the first sharks teeth we found were attached to a REAL shark!  So sad.  I have no idea why he was dead on the beach since sandbar sharks rarely venture into surf waters. There were two within just a few feet at the Blind Pass Beach Park.  🙁  Pretty sure he’s a sandbar shark, for more info, click here.  Sandbar sharks are supposedly harmless to humans, although he’d scare me to death if I happened to see him snorkeling!  They’re bottom feeders, looking for crabs, shrimp, small rays & fish. Unfortunately, he’s classified as “Vulnerable” on the Endangered Species list, which means there’s a high risk of extinction in the wild worldwide.

Sandbar shark, on the beach at Blind Pass Beach.

Sandbar shark, on the beach at Blind Pass Beach.

But back to the beach… We like to wander beyond where the people are … if there are any people and Blind Pass Beach was packed yesterday.  But beyond the brightly colored beach umbrellas, coolers and skimmer boards, there was miles of beach with few people and more shells.  And sharks teeth!

How do you find sharks teeth?  Since finding a big one is rare and requires either scuba diving or serious sand excavation with equipment that reminds me of the early gold rush, mostly we walk.  Sharks teeth here are usually shiny black.  Yep, you read that right, black.  They’re fossils, remember?

Look closely on the piece of shell just below center left - there's a sharks tooth!

Look closely on the piece of shell just below center left – there’s a sharks tooth!  This one happens to be brown.

It’s best just before low tide, on a falling tide.  The waves come in, reach the “shell line”, tumble stuff around a bit and reveal sharks teeth…. sometimes.  Other times, we walk just in the wave line and watch for stuff tumbling under the 1″ or so of water and make a frantic grab for it. Watch closely for shiny black and triangles – teeth aren’t shaped like shells and stand out.

For us, it’s partly the walk and a bit of exercise as much as finding the sharks teeth.  We’re not the “gold rush” crowd – you won’t find us sitting in a spot with a big screen shoveling stuff from under the surf line onto the screen and then sitting on the beach looking through it.   Although, I’ll admit, they do find bigger sharks teeth that way, but who wants to just sit there & pretend to be gold prospectors?  Not us, but it must be fun because the beach was full of them yesterday.

Sharks teeth treasure - not sure the white one in the middle is a sharks tooth, I think it's a piece of shell that's shaped almost right.

Sharks teeth treasure – not sure the white one in the middle is a sharks tooth, I think it’s a piece of shell that’s shaped almost right.

But we did find 125 sharks teeth to add to our jar.  It’s not a personal record, but it’s more than we’ve found all winter so far.  And yes, Dave & Patty, I know it’s not close to your record, but we haven’t been to Don Pedro State Park … yet!

If you want to know more about collecting sharks teeth, check here. 

Do you have information to add?  Please leave a comment and share!   Cheers!  Jan

 

Comments

  1. Awesome!!! Peter can’t wait to go try to find some 🙂 I hope we’ll have time before we leave!
    -Jody & Peter

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