Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Here There Be Monsters
I suppose some if not all of these fossil shark teeth could qualify as Megalodon, but only juveniles. A full size meg tooth is something to see at about 7 inches long. I don't have one of those (dang it!), but if you placed one in my hand (I'd run away with it! )...it would cover all the teeth in the above picture.
Meg could have cruised anywhere in Florida as the peninsula was a shallow sea bottom for much of prehistory. Being blessed with the sharky advantage of endless teeth, she would have lost and replaced teeth repeatedly in her life...just like her smaller descendents do today.
For that reason, fossil shark teeth are not that difficult to find in Florida. In south Florida, there are large limerock mines that bring up loads of marine fossils in each scoop of a crane's bucket. As a kid, my buddy Harry slid down a mound of coquina in a borrow pit, put his hand down to stop his slide, and came up with a meg tooth between his fingers.
If you were looking for fossil shark's teeth and wanted a sure thing, I would send you to Venice Beach in southwest Florida. Venice is in a unique position with an offshore fossil deposit and onshore currents that constantly redeposit new "old" teeth. They even have a shark tooth festival.
My second choice would be Vilano beach near my old hometown of St. Augustine. You have to look harder at Vilano, but it can be pretty productive. Also, there's teeth in many of the creeks and rivers that cut through our Florida limestone on their way to the sea.
The teeth in the picture have come to me in various ways, but I can't claim to have found any this big. Most of mine are of smaller, nonMeg species, but still exciting to find...
...and you never know what that next handfull of sand will reveal.
Posted by R.Powers at 6:08 AM