Florida on a Tankful: Hunt for shark teeth on Caspersen Beach


It is late afternoon on Caspersen Seashore in Venice.

The solar warms the breeze, and pelicans fly over the water.

Nevertheless it’s what’s beneath the water that is capturing seashore goers’ attentions.

The Mcauliffe household—mother, dad and three youngsters– is down visiting “Grandad Dan” Mcauliffe.

“We’re searching,” stated Mcauliffe, as he scrapes an angled mesh scooper with an extended metallic deal with alongside the highest layers of sands and rocks and particles within the shallow surf.

He pulls it out of the water, dunks it a number of occasions to rinse the sand out of it, and scoops out what’s left.

That is the place the searching and plundering the waters like pirates begins.

“She discovered the mom lode!” Mcauliffe stated, smiling and pointing to his daughter-in-regulation.

Their booty: shark tooth.

It’s the bounty of this seashore.

“It is type of enjoyable to do it with the household –it is kind of a practice we do,” stated granddaughter Shaley.

And there’s a bonus for the youngsters.

“It will get them out within the solar and off the iPhones and the computer systems,” stated Mcauliffe.

“My grandad,” stated Shaley, “he’s an professional on shark’s tooth.”

He’s not the one one, nevertheless.

Jeff Rodgers is the Provost and Chief Working Officer of the South Florida Museum. Fossils are his factor.

“There is a deeper story than simply the sharks’ tooth there. It is concerning the geologic historical past of our state, and the truth that it was principally underwater and it was a shark nursery,” stated Rodgers.

So this space was a house for child sharks for tens of millions of years. Drink that in, individuals of Florida’s West Coast: the place your rental is located, a megalodon was elevating her infants.

(That’s principally the prehistoric model of an awesome white shark.)

And over a lifetime, one shark loses hundreds and hundreds of tooth.

“Reduce to immediately,” stated Rodgers(no pun meant—critically), “the place now that is all land, however we have got the river methods operating south in the direction of Venice, so these rivers are regularly unearthing new sharks tooth and washing them down the place they’re deposited down right here on the shore.”

The truth is, the world the Peace River runs by way of earlier than dumping out into Charlotte Harbor is known as “Bone Valley,” in line with Rodgers.

As an avid shark tooth hunter, I usually stroll alongside the seashores simply south of Caspersen, half hunched over checking the sand because the waves recede and searching proper water line too.

I search for black, shiny triangular shapes—not flat throughout, however rounded, like your personal tooth.

Typically you’ll find lighter coloured tooth—brown and from time to time—even tannish. These are like just some million years previous as an alternative of 30.

Some are tiny and pointy like an Isosceles triangle. Others seem like worn scalene or obtuse triangles, with a transparent gum line. It’s fairly wild.

I’d by no means used a mesh scooper sifter earlier than—I contemplate myself extra of a purist.

(On occasion after having youngsters I perhaps used their little vibrant plaster sifter from their sand fort making toy kits, however by no means such a complicated equipment.)

However after spending…



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