Some people believed that wearing a shark tooth would protect them from shark bites. Others, like Rihanna, wore it as a bold edgy fashion trend. However, neither could deny their fascination with such an enduring fossil.
For years shark teeth have caught the attention of many people, not merely paleontologists. The idea that anyone can find them sparked a joy for the thrill of the chase. How to find shark teeth on the beach, and how much is their worth? These are the real questions!
How to Find Shark Teeth on the Beach?
Shark teeth are common enough and might not require an expert to find them. Nonetheless, you might need some tips to help you find them, or else you’ll rely completely on luck.
Step 1: Choose the right beach
Shark teeth once found are found in abundance. However, they don’t exist everywhere. There are particular beaches famous for their sharks and shark teeth-lined shores. For instance, Venice beach in Florida is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World.
The popularity of Venice, Florida as a destination for shark teeth stems from a long history with sharks. Ten million years ago, Florida was submerged underwater and was sharks’ territory. When the water receded with time, they died leaving behind their teeth and a few parts to fossilize.
Other beaches you could visit include Caspersen Beach Park, Venice, Folly Beach in South Carolina, Wilmington and Topsail Beach areas of North Carolina, and Amelia Island and Jacksonville in Florida.
At the beach, look for the area where shells and sea rocks are collected. It’s usually called a wash-in area where the sand level is a bit low. All the waves sediments end up there, including shark teeth.
Step 2: Research the Marine Life Variety
Many people come across shark teeth and fail to notice or recognize them, so familiarize yourself with shark teeth shapes as to not miss any. A general description is that they are glossy black, triangular and small.
Also, other indicators that what you found is not mere gravel are the ripples on the surface, and the coarse, sharp edges.
Of course, there could be exceptions. The tooth could be fragmented so it won’t be triangular-shaped. Or, it could be light in color if it’s a modern tooth. It only becomes darker as a result of the fossilization process. It could even be as large as your palm if you were lucky enough to stumble upon a megalodon’s tooth.
Step 3: Check for the Right Weather and Timing
Many experts recommend going to the beach after a storm. The waves will expose new layers of sand and shovel up all the shells and shark teeth to the surface layer. That will allow you to find the treasures, you seek, easily right under your toes.
Another thing to look out for is the tide. Try to avoid searching in high tides, because it submerges the shark teeth. A low tide will give you a wider scope and will increase your chances of finding shark teeth.
Step 4: Get the Right Tools
Despite the good a storm and a low tide do, finding shark teeth could still require some digging. Digging and sifting through sand, gravel, seashells, and glass are the two main steps you need to take. They could be tiring and time-consuming if you’re not prepared with the right materials.
The Design Sand Flea Rake is a piece of equipment that makes your life ten times easier. It’s designed from sturdy material that handles and distributes body weight. So, you won’t tire using it. It has sharp teeth to dig thoroughly into the sand, and a huge basket to collect your findings.
The basket has tiny holes in it, so it can be used as a strainer for the sand. You’re then left to sift through what remains from gemstones, and shells to shark teeth.
Another similar product that will be of great help is the Shark Tooth Sifter. They’re both used in the same way, but what makes the shark tooth sifter extra special is that it can be disassembled and reassembled. That can be really convenient in storage.
While sifting through the sand for shark teeth don’t forget to throw away any plastic that will litter the beach and hurt the marine animals.
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Step 5: Document Your Findings
Fossilized shark teeth can range in years from 10000 to 75 million years. They are sometimes the only remaining part of an extinct species like the megalodon shark. This certainly makes them prized possessions, worthy of documentation.
You should always start by identifying your findings. If they’re not worthy of a museum display, you can always show your appreciation by wearing them around your neck. Or you can put your collection on display for visitors.
Another fun way to document your shark teeth is by joining the shark tooth annual festival. It’s a time where people who hunt for shark teeth come together to celebrate and exhibit their findings. This happens in the one and only, the Shark Tooth Capital of the World.
This history and the lined shores of Florida make for a vibrant festival that you’ll love!
One thing to look out for is the issue of the shark teeth trade. Sharks have a varying, yet enormous number of teeth. Some of them could have as many as 50 rows of teeth. And, they shed teeth regularly. This is why it’s easy to find shark teeth collected on the shore.
That being said, teeth are being sold for thousands of dollars. People are killing sharks for their teeth and fins. That is not only inhumane, but it has awful effects on our planet as sharks are now an endangered species. This danger could ruin the food chain beyond repair.
This is why you should always collect or buy fossilized shark teeth. And avoid completely white, modern ones.
Like stamps, shark teeth have their own fascination for collectors. They can usually be found on the shores of Florida’s beaches, they just require a close eye. Some factors can work in your favor when you’re on the look-out for shark teeth.
These include knowledge concerning shark teeth shape and searching in beaches where they are commonly found. Also, remember to have your digging tools on you, so you don’t leave empty-handed.