The coarse sand and rocky shore along Caspersen Beach attracts many a digger seeking… not shells… but, fossilized sharks teeth.
Oh my! Shark teeth??????? Actually the fossilized kind…
Venice is the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”! And, the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce will give a bag of teeth to any child who stops in for a visit.
Hmmm…Won’t they run out?
For eons, sharks have lived and died in the Gulf of Mexico leaving plenty of teeth for tides and storms to leave on our beaches. There’s even an ancient shark burial ground where lemon sharks, great white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks have long left their toothy remains including the massive Megalodon shark.
This extinct species of shark lived roughly from 28 to 1.5 million years ago and their teeth are black and brown in color ranging from a tiny 1/8th to over 7 inches long. To find these massive teeth, one needs the expertise of our local guides with rental scuba equipment.
Amazingly, shark’s have “seven additional” rows of teeth just waiting to replace a primary worn out set. In ten years, an average Tiger shark can produce as many as 25,000 teeth. So, with sharks continually shedding teeth and growing new ones, it’s difficult to imagine that there will ever be a shortage.
Shark tooth Hunting
There are two ways to hunt for shark’s teeth; “Free Hand” or with a “Shark’s Tooth Basket” for scooping and sifting sand so as to expose sharks teeth. Both methods work fine it just depends on your style.
Shark tooth baskets are available at many shops in Downtown Venice, even Wal-Mart!
- Walking along the beach requires patience and time as you will be among many in search of teeth in the sand. Scoop some sand into a strainer and sift like a panhandler searching for gold.
- Patrol the shallows with a snorkel and mask while using a sifting device. Surprisingly, it works remarkably well.
- To find giant, prehistoric teeth, grab a scuba tank and head offshore to depths of 15 or 20 feet.