Shark teeth are an amazing curiosity and a fun souvenir from a beach trip.
However, most of the shark teeth you can buy at souvenir shops is from sharks that have been hunted and killed. It is much better to find shark teeth on your own. Here are some tips on how to find your own shark teeth souvenirs.
The Fun Of Shark Teeth
Shark teeth make fun beach souvenirs because they are a unique way to show off your love of sharks. Shark teeth can in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be incorporated into beautiful jewelry. Shark teeth also harken back to a time when our ancestors would use shark teeth as tools like arrowheads and spear points, as well as a way to cut and carve wood. Hunting for shark teeth can be an especially fun beach activity for all ages because it’s like going on a treasure hunt.
Where To Find Shark Teeth
Shark teeth can be found on any beach in the world, so you don’t have to necessarily go anywhere special to find them. Some species of sharks lose up to 30,000 teeth in their lifetime, so calculate that with 400 millions years of sharks, there’s a good chance, even with the massive size of the ocean that you can find one if you just know how to look. Furthermore, you don’t have to go to specific habitats to find the teeth of your favorite shark. For example, you can find Great White Shark teeth anywhere and not just near Great White Shark habitats like South Africa or the Northern Atlantic. So the next time you are at the beach, you should try hunting for shark teeth.
Steps To Finding Shark Teeth
Though shark teeth can be found on every beach, you will have more luck if you take a moment to look for the migratory patterns of sharks of the nearby beaches. Beaches with higher concentrations of sharks will have more available teeth, so it’s great to start with one of these beaches. Once you’ve picked your beach, follow these simple steps to find shark’s teeth.
- Be prepared before you hunt: Hunting for shark teeth can take a while so you want to make sure that you have comfortable shoes, water, and sunscreen. Also you may need to have a permit to hunt for shark’s teeth, so check with the local government to make sure you have the proper permission. Finally, it’s a good idea to ask locals where the best places to look for shark’s teeth. They may know special areas or secret beaches where shark’s teeth are plentiful.
- Go at the ideal time: The best time to hunt for shark’s teeth is right after a storm, in the morning, and at low tide. Storms can help bring ocean debris to shore so there’s more chance of finding an ocean treasures. Early in the morning there are less people and ocean debris hasn’t been picked over yet. At low tide, there’s more beach space, so there’s more areas to hunt for shark teeth.
- Bring the right equipment: Shark’s teeth may be found just below the surface of the sand so it’s a good idea to bring a shovel, trowel, or bucket so you can dig a little deeper. Also shark teeth may be found in the water along the shore, so it’s a good idea to bring a strainer so you can dig around in the water. If you want to really have a fun experience, consider investing in some snorkeling gear so you can hunt in deeper waters for shark teeth.
- Know what shark’s teeth look like. Shark teeth vary among the different species, but they tend to be the shape of a triangle and are commonly ⅛ to ¾ inches long. Some teeth are larger, especially the teeth found in deeper waters. Shark teeth are also almost always black, so look for both white and black shapes. You may want to quickly stop by a souvenir shop to check out what the local shark teeth look like so you know what exactly you are trying to find.
- Be patient. Part of the fun of hunting for shark teeth is that it is like a treasure hunt. Though shark teeth are bountiful, you may not find one quickly or even on your first time out. So just enjoy your time on the beach, and if you start to get frustrated, think about how fun it will be to tell the story about how you found a shark’s tooth after some hard hunting.
How To Identify Found Shark Teeth
Once you’ve found a tooth, you want to make sure that it is a tooth. Not everything triangular shaped is a tooth, so make sure that you know how to identify a fossilized tooth. Once you know you have a shark tooth, you can use a variety of identification guides to find out what type of tooth you’ve found. Most commonly the teeth you will find will be from local sharks, so you can start by investigating their teeth. However, you may find something much more rare like a tooth from a prehistoric, like a Helicoprion or even a Megalodon. You can look up guides online and compare the size and shape to what you’ve found. If you get really stumped, you can take your shark’s tooth to a local university or a marine biology center and a scientist can help you identify what you’ve found.
Fossilized Versus Fresh Shark Teeth
Hunting for shark’s teeth ensures that you are only finding fossilized teeth and not contributing to the slaughter of hundreds of millions of sharks every year. However, if you are not living near a beach, or cannot find any shark teeth on your own, you need to make sure that you only buy fossilized teeth and not fresh shark teeth. The easiest way to tell the difference is by the color. Fossilized shark teeth with be yellow, brown or black, while fresh shark teeth will be white. If you aren’t sure if a shark tooth is fossilized, you can alway ask the storekeeper about where they source their shark teeth from. If they get them from fisheries or do not know where the teeth come from, you should pass and find a retailer that has fossilized shark teeth.
Hunting for shark teeth is a fun way to spend time at the beach, and you never know what amazing treasures you will find. You can do it along any beach not just near lemon, tiger, or great white shark habitats. So follow the steps in this guide and happy hunting!