Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shark's teeth

One of the best things about the beaches we went to while in Florida were the fossilized shark's teeth. You don't even have to dig for them, they are laying right there on top of the sand. I don't know why this particular area is so good for finding them, but it's a lot of fun.

If you want to actually dig for them, or shells, they have these things call Florida Snow Shovels. It's basically a triangular metal basket on a long metal handle that you dig into the sand and then shake in the water to let all the sand out. Then you dump it and see what you got.

This post card identifies the different kinds of teeth, the species it was from, and approximately how old the teeth are. Many of the species are extinct, as these teeth are millions of years old.

While we were on the beach one day, a lady walked up and excitedly showed us something amazing. She had found it just laying on the beach about a mile and a half from where we were, away from the public beaches. It was from a Carcharodon Megalodon, and obviously the post card is not actual size because this thing was at least three inches on each side. Imagine five rows of those top and bottom taking a little nibble out of you *shudder*. Glad those fuckers are extinct.

My sister Bouf is living there right now and likes to take long walks on the beach in the morning and at sunset. She said it's the best time to collect the teeth, and also to see the wild dolphins (which I did get to see one morning, yay!). Her collection is awesome! This is my lame collection, from 2 different trips put together.

The night before we went to the beach for the first time, my mother felt she had to warn me not to let my son go out too far in the ocean. Apparently one time when he was there without me she took him to the beach and he went out above his waist. I appreciated her concern and told her so. I also mentioned the facts that he was either 7 or 10 at the time, and at least a foot shorter. Being my mother, she had to keep pressing the issue about how dangerous the surf can be, and how the sharks come close to shore, yada, yada, yada.

The woman is like a pit bull, she sinks her teeth into something and won't let go. "Mom, I've got it, I've done this before." Hi, we have an ocean where we live, too. I finally said, "if you're so worried, why don't you come to the beach and watch him for me!".

Yeah, I know, classy and extremely mature of me.

We saw no sharks the whole time we were there, but the lady who found the huge shark's tooth told us that the day before she was on the beach talking to a friend who was in the water. She saw what she thought were 2 dolphins jumping around and coming closer to shore. As they got closer, it looked like they were fighting. Dolphins don't usually fight with each other, nor do they usually come close to shore when there are a lot of people in the water. The husband of the lady in the water ran over yelling, "get out of the water!".

They were sharks and must have been following a school of fish or something. They had to have been pretty good size sharks if she mistook them for dolphins which are usually anywhere from 8-12 feet in length. She said they got as close to the shore as where the drop off went from like three feet to five feet. Literally in the same spot we had been swimming in earlier that day.

There's a reason I don't go out farther than I can touch my feet - it's called fear. And there's a reason I didn't tell my mother about that lady's incident - it's called bitchiness. Or dysfunctional self-preservation. Whatever.


~E said...

I call dysfunctional self-preservation! And I can't swim very well (but due to some fortunate built in flotation devices, I can float with the best of them) so usually don't go in further than up to my chin.

Jocelyn said...

I haven't swam in the ocean for YEARS thanks to the dang jelly fish.

Then my dad caught a 6' shark and we ate him. It was delicious.

Then dad told me where he caught it. At the end of the pier at the beach. WHERE PEOPLE SWIM ALL THE TIME.

I don't even get out of the car while driving near the beach now!!

Jodi said...

My dad used to find sharks teeth in the desert in Nevada!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I was at the beach in Naples last Feb. The beach was crowded and about 50 yards in the distance we spotted the shark fin just before the break in the waves.

We were horrified, but the locals seemed not to care.

kate said...

Ok, it is weird to see my sister (Jodi) comment on your blog. Plus, she stole my story! Somehow I ended up with our dad's shark teeth. They were always a big hit at show and tell....especially when we'd tell them where he found them. Nevada! So those babies are OLD.

kate said...

Damn, I forgot what I came here to say, which is that your collection is AWESOME!! I can't believe you've found that many! What, are all the sharks in FL now toothless? :)

JoJo said...