Hunting for shark teeth and sea glass is the ultimate scavenger hunt. Lucky for us, the First Coast has lots of great beaches where you can find these elusive treasures hiding in the sand. In addition, there are lots of great tools that can help you search for teeth. This Sand Dipper is perfect for anyone who hates having to bend down and pick up treasures and this Shark Tooth Sifter is fun for kids to use while searching. But before you go out hunting, there’s a few tips and tricks to help you get the most success out of your hunt.
Find the Right Spot for Hunting
Although shark teeth can be found all along the shores of Jacksonville, there are a few places where the searching is better than others. Mickler’s Beach in Ponte Vedra is known for having great shark teeth hunting, but really any beach with patches of shell debris are good for searching.
Go at the Right Time to Hunt for Shark Teeth
Timing really can be everything when hunting for shark teeth. After a big storm (hello, hurricane season) is a great time to go out and look for these tiny treasures. If you’re going out after a big storm, just make sure it’s safe before you head to the beach. Generally low tide is the best time to hunt for shark teeth. You can always check the tide schedule online before heading out to the beach.
Know Where to Look
When you’re out at the beach, walking around, looking for shark teeth, you want to walk along the waterline. Look for patches of small shells and other ocean debris. At low tide you’ll see a tide line, this is a line of shells left on the beach as the tide goes out. This is where you’ll find shark teeth mixed in with the shells and other fragments.
Know What to Look For When Hunting for Shark Teeth
As you walk along the waterline, looking down at the little bits of ocean debris, it might seem impossible to spot a shark tooth. Keep your eyes peeled for small, shiny, black triangles. Some people prefer to scoop up a cup of sand and sit to sift through looking for treasures. I prefer to walk along trying to spot shark teeth as I go. Whichever way you prefer, I’ve found that once you’ve spotted one tooth, it’s a lot easier find more.
Have Fun Identifying Your Finds
Once you’ve had fun collecting some teeth, be sure to look up online and see what kind of sharks they once belonged to. There are two good sites for shark tooth identification. The first is a more technical description from the University of Florida Museum. The second is a visual guide from ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research to help you identify teeth. You can even buy your own guide book if you think you’ll be identifying lots of teeth!
If you have a little shark lover in your house, we love this Shark Tooth Dig Kit that lets them discover fossils and learn about different teeth. The Ultimate Book of Sharks from National Geographic is another great resource for kids who love sharks and hunting for teeth.
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