Thursday, April 01, 2010

Shark Tooth Hunt

Our first shark tooth search was a bust. Venice Beach is supposed to be famous for its abundance of shark teeth. Unfortunately, we didn't find a single one. Dejected we headed home. Later in the week we met a family at dinner who is vacationing in Manasota Beach a few miles south of Venice. They had found dozens just sitting in their beach chairs. Determined to find some we packed up the car again and made the hour trek down to Manasota Key. The island was perfect and the beach was great. We plopped our stuff down and within minutes had our first tooth. They are fossilized and come in black, brown, or gray, depending on the minerals in the soil in which they have been buried. They range in size from one eighth inch to about 1 inch. We heard stories of larger 3 plus inch teeth being pulled from the sand but I didn't see any.

While we were rummaging around in Matt's grandparents storage closet we uncovered a shelling basket. Basically a sifter on a stick. But, it was a big help. We took turns wading in and dredging the break water. Then we dumped out the contents and meticulously searched for the teeth. We averaged 1-2 teeth per basket. After a few hours in the sun we called it quits and left with 174 teeth.

The trip was a success! I would say it was probably the most fun I have seen my kids have at the beach.

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