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The Pearl Beach Inn Blog Post

Helpful Tips for Finding Shark Teeth

Hunting for fossilized shark teeth on the beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast is similar to riding a bike. It can be a daunting and seemingly impossible task if you don't have any experience. Once you learn some basics and a couple expert tricks, you'll be bringing home hundreds of them every trip out!

The fossilized shark teeth you will be finding on the beaches of Florida's Gulf coast are anywhere from thousands of years old to tens of millions of years old. They are finally washed up onto the beach after spending long amounts of time in the fossil shelf off of Venice Florida or other areas in the Gulf of Mexico. The vast majority are not from the sharks you will find off the shores, although you will find a "fresh" tooth occasionally. 

We mention Venice Florida specifically because of that fossil shelf. If you are going to find shark teeth, you will need to go to a spot where they are located. Seems simple enough, but you wouldn't believe how many people we see looking for shark teeth on Siesta Beach and Lido Beach. You could spend hours looking in either of those spots to our north and not find a single tooth. A good day would land you a few. That's the first lesson - hunt where they are likely to wash up.

The best spots for your search are from Nokomis beach on Casey Key to Stump Pass on Manasota Key. Venice Florida is known as "Shark Tooth Capital of the World" for a reason. It provides plenty of sea treasure to all the beaches nearby. 

The best beaches include Nokomis Beach, Venice Jetties, Venice Beach, Caspersen Beach, Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Englewood Beach & Stump Pass Beach.

Now that you are looking in the right spots, let's pick the time of day. Early mornings are the best times. You can check out the entire beach and see what washed up overnight. Any other time will also work as both high and low tides have advantages and disadvantages when searching. 

You'll want to know what to look for once you get to the beach. Search for spots where a lot of medium sizes shell debris has been deposited onto the beach. Bonus if it has waves occasionally crashing onto it. You might find the occasional shark tooth washed up onto the beach beyond the reach of the waves, but you may need to be able to search on any given day.

The teeth will collect in the caches of shell debris and rock. Try to find cashes that are diverse. You will then begin to search through this collection in one of a few ways.

1) Shark Tooth Sifter - We highly recommend this tool and have two of them at our Inn for guests to use. This tool allows you to pull these mixes of shells, rocks & teeth from the surf, sift it with the water and dump it on the beach. Then you can go through the collection and pick out the teeth.

2) By Hand - Sometimes it is just more appropriate to use your hands and eyes the old-fashioned way. When you find a fresh collection on a beach that is not under water you can quickly pick through the rocks and shells to find the teeth.

3) The Scoop Method - Let the waves do the work for you by scooping large amounts of shells & rocks onto the beach where the surf can still reach. It will wash your collection back to the water but allow you a good look at everything when it does. This is a way to get the sifting effect without having an actual sifter. Beware of using your hands to dig in the sand. A cup or bucket would be safer.

How can you tell it is a shark tooth? About 90% of the teeth you will find are clearly shark teeth. If you have to ask, you have one of the 10%, a rock or a fossil that is not from a shark. The best way to identify the hard to tell teeth is to look for the gum line. If you can identify a gum line and piece of a tooth attached, you likely have a shark tooth.

Make sure to place the teeth in freshwater in a cup or bowl when you return from the beach. Allow them to soak for at least 6 hours in freshwater and give them an extra rinse after you dry them out on paper towel. Count them while enjoying going through the cool details and colors each tooth has after millions of years under the sea!

We have seen our guests use shark teeth to fill jars & lamps as well as use them in jewelry, tables & even sidewalks! They are great gifts for kids, but beware of the choking hazard. 

Join us at our slice of paradise on Manasota Key to have the beach steps away from your room! We are located on the northern part of Manasota Key among residential properties. Stay away from the crowds in our small resort setting at the Pearl Beach Inn!

Manasota Key Blogs:
Easiest Ways to Get to The Pearl Beach Inn
The Menus of Manasota Key
Is a Dolphin Experience on Your Bucket List?
Fun at the Pearl Beach Inn with Lindy Miller
Find Fossilized Shark Teeth on Florida's Gulf Coast
Where to Find Good Books for Your Pearl Beach Inn Vacation
Schedule of Sunset Times in 2018
3 Romantic Locations for a Florida Anniversary Getaway
Don't Forget These Items on Your Manasota Key Vacation!
Lindy's Loves - 9 Must Visit Spots Near Manasota Key Florida
Golfing near Manasota Key Florida
25 Ways to Relax at The Pearl Beach Inn
Birding in Englewood Florida
Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Englewood Florida
11 Amazing Mixed Drink Recipes for the Beach
Discover the Englewood Farmers Market
Hold Your Next Family Reunion at The Pearl Beach Inn
5 Ways Manasota Key Florida is Unique
25 Miles of Fun from the Pearl Beach Inn
7 Offbeat Attractions You Have to Visit in Sarasota Florida
Discover Manasota Key Florida
Check out a Southwest Florida Brewery Tour
11 Simple Fun Beach Games for Kids
Alligator Adventures in Myakka Park
A Day in South Venice
Top Spas Near Manasota Key
Lindy's Summer Beach Playlist
How to Create a Photo Collage of Your Beach Vacation Photos
Spend a Weekend Florida Staycation on Manasota Key
Easy BBQ Recipes for Vacation Grilling
Vacationing with Family and Friends at The Pearl Beach Inn
Boat Rentals, Jet Skis and Parasailing on Manasota Key
7 Beach Hacks for Your Pearl Beach Inn Vacation
One Word Descriptions of the Pearl Beach Inn
Relaxation or Adventure on Manasota Key
The Perfect Englewood Florida Day
Get Married on the Beach at the Pearl Beach Inn
Room by Room with Lindy


Saturday October 23, 2021