It’s a picture perfect morning on Southwest Florida’s Venice beach, as the cloudless royal blue sky meets the far off horizon. The emerald-green Gulf of Mexico gently laps onto the sandy shoreline, and a few barefooted beachcombers are off in the distance.
Family looking for shark teeth
A young boy, along with his mother and father, are stooped over searching for something on the beach. They appear to be looking for something amongst the shells and sand. The little boy is holding a long-handled tool that resembles a snow shovel with a wire mesh basket attached to the end. With his dad’s help the boy heartily scoops sand and shells from the water’s edge letting the water and sand drain from the sieved basket.
The boy inspects the catch, sifting through the shells. He shrieks, “I found one!” as he proudly bounces up and down holding within the palm of his tiny hand – a small black sharks tooth.
Florida’s Gulf Coast Venice Beach Pier
This scene plays out daily on Florida’s Venice beach, the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World” located in Sarasota County.
The Gulf beaches in and around Venice, hold a bountiful cache of fossilized sharks teeth. Ten million years ago, when Florida was submerged under water, the area was teeming with sharks.
Shark exhibit, courtesy Florida Museum of Natural History
Over time, as the water receded giving way to land, the prehistoric sharks died, their skeletons disintegrated, but their fossilized teeth remained. The Venice coastal area, just south of Sarasota sits on top of a fossil layer that runs 18-35 feet deep. With storms and waves, the fossils are slowly driven into the shallow waters and then up onto the beach.
Source : http://www.authenticflorida.com/