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7 Ways to Search for Shark Teeth in Venice

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Looking to find shark teeth during your visit to Venice or Sarasota, Florida?

You’re not alone. After all, Venice, Florida, is the proclaimed Shark Tooth Capital of the World, thanks to the millions of shark teeth that have washed ashore there over time.

Visit Venice Beach or nearby Caspersen Beach at any given time and you’ll find dozens of people with their heads bent down, looking intently at something—and it’s not their phones, for once. Instead, they’re studying the many shells, shell fragments, rocks, and even fossils to find sharp, black or gray teeth from the coastline.

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A variety of shells — and maybe some shark teeth — on Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida.

While you’ll occasionally read of some massive-sized shark tooth finds (such as from a megalodon), most of the teeth found now are tiny…but still fun to look for. It’s a family or solo activity that entertains all ages. Here’s a link to an article from WikiHow to help you identify what fossilized shark teeth look like.

So, let’s say your ready to search for those shark teeth….what are some different ways you can start shark tooth hunting? Here’s the scoop (literally, if you look at the picture below).

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    Here’s what a Florida snow shovel looks like. These are the ones available on the Venice Beach Pier.

    1. Use a “Florida snow shovel.” Up North, shovels are used for snow. Here in the Sunshine State, we use our shovels to scoop up and sift through sand and shells to find treasure. A Florida snow shovel is the tool of choice for many people looking for shark teeth. See the picture above for an example. If you’re hanging out near the Venice Beach Pier, you can rent one for $7.50 a day. Our previous shark tooth stories led us to find the Florida snow shovels at a Walmart in the Venice area for around $15 to $20. Since then, we’ve also noticed them at other Southwest Florida Walmarts. Bottom line: Check your touristy type stores or the Venice Pier, and you can sift away for shark teeth all you want.

  2. Venice4

    In addition to Florida snow shovels, you can get creative and bring items from home, like this colander, to search for shark teeth in Venice.

    2. Bring everything from the kitchen but the kitchen sink. Let’s say you don’t want to shell out the extra money to buy or rent a Florida snow shovel to look for shark teeth. Here’s where you can get creative. Think of items from your kitchen that may work similarly, such as the colander we show here. Simply place it down in the sand, scoop up the many shells and rocks, and start sifting through for shark teeth. Similarly, you could also bring a mixing bowl or a cooking pot. Those may be a little harder to use than a colander, but they will give you a bigger range of items than you can hold by hand.

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These two guys on Caspersen Beach are using what look to be homemade fossil/shark tooth sifters.

3. Use a homemade sifter. During our most recent visit to Caspersen and Venice beaches, we saw several people use what looked to be flat, homemade, sand sifters. They would place the sifter in the water, down toward the bottom, and then bring it back up to search for items. This type of item also is used for fossil hunting. One advantage it might have is that everything you have found is laid flat, so it’s easier to see and search for those tiny teeth. Here’s a link to a YouTube video about making a homemade fossil/shark tooth sifter.

4. Go snorkeling. Just like the coastline of Venice and Caspersen beaches are awash with items, including shark teeth, so are the areas under water on the coastline. Snorkel near the shoreline in shallow water and you can use your hands or a sand sifter to collect or examine items, including interesting shells or shark teeth.

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Examples of our finds at Caspersen and Venice beaches. These aren’t all shark teeth (although the tiny black item on the left definitely is). Still, it gives you an idea of what you might find on your journey.

5. Dive for shark teeth. One advantage of diving for shark teeth is you’re more likely to find those giant megalodon teeth. We personally haven’t gone diving for shark teeth, but it looks like a fun option if you know how to scuba dive. A quick search online led to the websites for Aquanutz Dive Charters, Top2Bottom Offshore Charters, and the following YouTube video from AdventureLifeFiles about how to shore dive for shark teeth in Venice. The video has some helpful tips.

Venice86. Try another beach. If you’ve spent some time at Venice Beach and Caspersen Beach and want to try somewhere different for shark tooth hunting, fear not, as there are definitely other nearby beaches where you can continue the search for shark teeth. Those beaches include:

Also, keep in mind that Venice Beach is quite long so if you’ve tried one area, you can always move on and search for shark teeth on another area of the beach.

7. Buy ‘em. OK—you ran out of time for shark tooth hunting, or you went on a day when there just weren’t any good finds. It happens! Fortunately, there are places in Venice where you can buy shark teeth, such as Sea Pleasures and Treasures. This store is particularly fun because it also has a display of interesting fossils and shark teeth, along with souvenirs and shark tooth packets.

For more information on how to find shark teeth in Venice, Florida, check out Florida Culture’s previous (and popular) two related articles here  and here.

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An egret posing on the Venice Beach Pier.

3 Responses

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  1. What an interesting piece. Thanks for posting it!

    nancydwrites

    August 6, 2020 at 7:10 pm

  2. Wow—appreciate the details for my next family outing. What a great idea to combine exploring and learning! Enjoyed your pics and helpful hints

    Wayne Phillips

    August 7, 2020 at 9:38 am

  3. […] Florida, the humble snow shovel is “the tool of choice for many people looking for shark teeth.” In some places, like Venice beach, you can even hire them for the […]


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