Sharks are the apex predators of oceans known for their powerful jaws, sharp teeth, and distinctive hunting strategy. Although these sharp teeth of the sharks are for attacking their prey, they are also beneficial for humans in certain ways. Like other fossils, the teeth of sharks are valuable so they are bought or sold by enthusiasts. Most of the teeth found in shops are from either hunted or killed sharks. Finding the teeth of a shark on a beach trip is a fun souvenir.
- What are the Best Places to Find Shark Teeth?
- How to Find Shark Teeth on the Beach?
- Why Are Shark Teeth Black?
- How Much Shark Teeth Worth?
- What to Do With Shark Teeth?
- Final Thoughts
What are the Best Places to Find Shark Teeth?
You can find the teeth of sharks on almost every beach. However, certain beaches in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida along with the coast are the best places to find sharks’ teeth. The ideal locations to find shark teeth in the world are:
- Beaches of Venice, Florida
- Calvert Cliffs State Park, Maryland
- Shipwreck Beach Lanai, Hawaii
- Cumberland Island, Georgia
- San Jose Island, Texas
- Hornby Island, Canada
- Herne Bay, UK
- Cadzand Beach, Netherland
Learn about the details of the above-mentioned locations in this guide.
How to Find Shark Teeth On the Beach?
Finding the teeth of a shark is an easy and fun activity on a beach. Sharks shed thousands of teeth in their life, giving you plenty of opportunities to find the one on the beach. Most of the teeth you will find are fossilized and are small, shiny, and black because of phosphate decomposition. If you are planning to find the teeth of sharks on your next trip, you will need the following things:
- Beachwear or diving equipment in case offshore is hunting you.
- Bucket or teeth collecting bag to keep the tiny teeth inside it.
- Tool for digging the sand; your hand or strainer from your kitchen. Otherwise, you can buy the Venice Snow Shovel from the nearest beach store.
- A permit from the local government to have proper permission for hunting the shark teeth.
Once you have gathered all the required items it is time to start hunting for shark teeth and for that purpose, follow the below guidelines carefully:
1: Research Marine Life Variety
Before visiting the beach you must familiarize yourself with the various shapes and sizes of the shark teeth. Read our guide on Shark Teeth Types to get familiar with four basic types of shark teeth. In general, the teeth of sharks you will find on the beach are black, triangular, and small. If the tooth is fragmented it would not be triangular.
2: Select a Location
The first step is to search for the best location for hunting the shark teeth. Research the best beaches or ask the locals as they might tell you some hidden best places for finding shark teeth. After selecting the beach, the best place at the beach is where waves crush up and leave everything behind such as shells, teeth, or rocks.
3: Choose the Best Time
You can visit the beach to find shark teeth any time of the year. However, the best time is right after the storm when the new layers of sand are exposed and all the shells and shark teeth appear at the surface of the sand.
Another best time is in the morning or the area of the beach with the low tide. The high tides of the beach submerge the teeth while the low tides provide you with more ground for searching as the waves of the water contain more materials than the slope. Choose the time with proper sunlight and make sure you do not get a glare from the sun or sand as the glare from the sun limits what you can see.
4: Scan along the Shore
The next step is to start digging the sand with your shovel, scoop it up into your sifter, and sift it through. While sifting keep a good eye and look for the shiny black, or brown colors of different sizes. The average size of the teeth of sharks is from 0.2 to 5 inches, nearly equal to your fingernail or toothpick.
5: Identify the Teeth
Finding the first tooth is always the hardest. But once you train yourself to find the teeth of a shark it will be easy for you. After finding the tooth, the next step is to identify the shark species of the tooth and for this purpose, you can use the various postcards available at the store near the beach.
Tips For Finding Shark Teeth
- Location is key; go at a low tide and walk slowly along with water.
- Look for areas where there are shells and small pebbles.
- Teeth are smaller than an inch, look carefully and train your eyes to find the slender shapes. Keep a keen eye while searching the teeth near the water line.
After collecting the tooth, clean off any debris or dust with warm water before displaying it in your house or using it as jewelry.
How Do You Identify Shark Teeth?
The color and shape of teeth are the two basic components to identify the teeth. The teeth of sharks not only vary in shape and type but they also are in different colors. They can be black, gray, white, dark brown, or even red. The color of sharks’ teeth is usually black, and when they fall out from their mouth, they are white. However, they turn black after some time due to the process of fossilization.
Most sharks have one of these types of teeth with serrated edges: Needle-like, dense and flattened, and pointed lower and triangular upper teeth. The serrated edges of the teeth are curved in a certain way depending on the side of the mouth. You can also identify the shark from the teeth size; smaller sharks have smaller teeth while heavier sharks such as Great white sharks have larger teeth that reach up to several inches. Read our blog on How to Identify a Shark Tooth to know the details for the identification of shark teeth.
Why are Shark Teeth Black?
Sharks lose at least one tooth in a week while attacking their prey and shed almost 30,000 teeth in their lifetime. The shark teeth buried in the sediments absorb the minerals from the surroundings during the process of fossilization, turning into a dark color usually black, gray, and deep red. Most shark’s teeth found on the beaches are fossilized and are millions of years old. The process of fossilization takes up to 10,000 years and some teeth are almost millions of years old. Read this detailed guide to learn Why are sharks teeth black.
How Much a Shark’s Teeth Worth?
The teeth of sharks are important for trade and sale. You can sell the teeth to the nearest beach or jewelry shop. The prices for different shark teeth vary and for the common teeth, they are not high. The worth of common teeth is $1 and for the teeth belonging to the rare shark is $1000.
What to do With Shark Teeth?
The teeth of sharks are scary and sharp but are useful for humans. In ancient times, the teeth of the extinct Megalodon shark were more sharp and popular. They were used by humans for hunting their food and carving the wood. People also used the teeth of sharks for crafting weapons and as spearheads thousands of years ago.
1: Incorporate it into a Jewelry
Nowadays, the teeth of sharks are incorporated into a Jewelry. The shark tooth necklaces have been historically viewed as a symbol of strength. You can also put a few shells or beads in your shark tooth necklace.
2: Display The Tooth in a Sandbox
If you find the deep shadow box, fill it with sand and display the shark tooth in it. Otherwise, you can simply hang the tooth over the wall.
3: Trade the Tooth
You can also trade in your shark teeth at an aquarium located in the various regions of the world. The famous South Carolina Aquarium has a trading post at the second floor. At that post, the kids can make a deal by selling the shark teeth and getting something else of their choice. There is also an option available for getting something bigger on their next visit by saving the points if they don’t want to purchase anything from there.
The teeth of sharks are valuable so they are bought or sold by shark enthusiasts. Finding the teeth of sharks on the beach is an easy process; you will only need a keen eye and proper equipment. Find a good place to search, then look for teeth on the shore in the morning. Use the sand dippers to dig and sift through the sand. Look for the triangular black, white, or brown items while scanning along the shore. Once you have found the tooth, you can incorporate it into your necklace, hang it on your wall, or trade the tooth for something better.