Hunting for Shark's Teeth in the Creek

@moffittjc (25009)
Gainesville, Florida
March 20, 2017 5:41pm CST
Many people may not realize it, but millions of years ago Florida was submerged under the ocean, and it has only been in modern times (geologically speaking) that the peninsula has risen above the ocean level (or has the ocean levels receded?). As a result of formerly being bottom-dwelling real estate of the Atlantic Ocean, there is an abundance of shark's teeth and other fossils to be found if you know where to look. The kids and I will occasionally sift through the beds and banks of creeks in search of sharks teeth. We're usually pretty successful at finding dozens of relatively small teeth, but this past weekend we came across an amazing find, as shown in the photo. It was a very large shark tooth, probably from a prehistoric monster large enough to swallow me whole! Although excited about the find, I shudder at the thought of such mammoth creatures that once roamed the oceans of the earth. I'm certainly glad humans weren't around when these large sharks perished our beaches in search of a tasty meal! Have you ever found a shark's tooth, or other interesting fossil?
31 people like this
29 responses
@RubyHawk (8410)
• Atlanta, Georgia
20 Mar
The only interesting thing I found would be Indian arrowheads.
5 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Mar
It's been a long time since I've found any Indian arrowheads, but I used to find them all the time in my younger days! I did find an old Indian dugout canoe on the bottom of a dried-out lake bed several years ago when we were in a severe drought, but apparently researchers were already aware of the canoe and chose to leave it in place at the bottom of the lake.
@Gillygirl (9893)
• Sutton, England
20 Mar
That is a big tooth. I would not like to meet a shark. I did find an interesting looking fossil on the South West Coast. Part of it is named the Jurassic coast. I will take a photo of the fossil when I have time..
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Mar
We also found two fossilized bones, but they are not huge dinosaur bones. Probably from a local animal that roamed Florida several thousand years ago. But it was still pretty cool to find. Can't wait to see your fossil!
1 person likes this
@Gillygirl (9893)
• Sutton, England
20 Mar
@moffittjc I shall put it on my things to do list.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
@Gillygirl I hope the list is not too long! haha
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar
Wow that's amazing. :) I don't really look in the ocean though, I don't like the feel on my feet. I have not found any, but I did hear a whale was washed upon shore at a place I go hiking/the beach often at though.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
I have never seen a beached whale or other marine life on the beaches, and I grew up on the beach. But every now and then I read or see a news report of a whale or dolphin that washes up on shore on beaches I used to hang out in my younger years. Honestly, I'm kind of glad I've never seen anything like that. It would sadden me to see such a gentle creature stuck helpless on a beach.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar
@moffittjc I dont want to see either, it is sad :(
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Mar
@infatuatedbby Would you come rescue me if I beached myself near your home?
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (9752)
• Japan
21 Mar
It looks like a smooth rock!
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
It has been smoothed over the centuries by sand and running water. Often, teeth found in creeks and rivers look well preserved and polished.
@sol_cee (9752)
• Japan
21 Mar
@moffittjc what do you do with all your collections?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Mar
@sol_cee My son keeps them in his room in a big box. But this big shark tooth I found will go out on a display in my living room. Not sure how I am going to display it yet, but I'll figure something out!
@JudyEv (73217)
• Bunbury, Australia
21 Mar
That's amazing! Will you just keep it? Is it worth anything?
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
I will keep it. I'll clean and polish it and display it somewhere in my house. I'm not sure if it's worth anything, probably not since you can find shark's teeth all over the place here, but it will at least have sentimental value to me and my son! We worked hard to find that thing!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (73217)
• Bunbury, Australia
21 Mar
@moffittjc And it is great that it is so large. Well done the pair of you.
1 person likes this
@1creekgirl (4928)
• United States
20 Mar
I've never seen a shark's tooth that large before!
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
It's definitely the biggest one I've ever found, but nothing compared to the Megladon teeth that people were finding on the beaches of North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew went through the area last year!
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar
@moffittjc We live about 90 minutes from the NC coast, but I didn't hear much about that. I bet they found some cool stuff!
1 person likes this
@Asylum (41614)
• Manchester, England
20 Mar
Hopefully the teeth will no longer be attached to a shark.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Mar
We'd be in some serious trouble if teeth of that size were still attached to a shark!
1 person likes this
@Asylum (41614)
• Manchester, England
21 Mar
@moffittjc Judging by the colour of the teeth, the breath alone would be lethal.
1 person likes this
@PainsOnSlate (16265)
• Canada
21 Mar
That is a huge tooth....I've never seen a shark tooth before that I remember, what fun to do with your kids, The history of the geology was interesting too...
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Mar
Researchers seem to be constantly discovering new fossilized remains in Florida rivers and creeks. Seems like a week doesn't go by without reading about a new mastodon discovery.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (5834)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
21 Mar
No but I have been called an interesting fossil a few times.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
That's hilarious! I haven't been called a fossil yet, but my kids do refer to me as being around when the dinosaurs roamed the earth!
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (8993)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
21 Mar
Could it be a megaladon's tooth? They were the largest sharks ever to patrol our waters.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
If it is, it's a baby one! haha
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
20 Mar
I have not. That is an impressive find you made!
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
I've always wanted to find a Megalodon tooth, which was the largest shark that ever lived, but I'll settle for whatever bad boy this tooth was attached to! lol
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (20630)
• Los Angeles, California
20 Mar
I looked for shark's teeth at several Florida beaches where you supposedly can find them and came up empty handed.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Mar
In my 45+ years of hunting for sharks teeth on Florida's beaches, I have never yet found a single tooth. But a friend of mine, who went to Jacksonville Beach this past weekend, came home with about 2 dozen teeth that she found at the beach. I don't know how some people have such great luck! But the huge tooth I found this weekend in Gainesville makes up for all the years I haven't been able to find anything on the beaches!
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (25797)
• Olney, Illinois
20 Mar
The only old fossil I have seen in real life is when I look in a mirror.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Mar
That's a good one Jake! I think I'm beginning to look a little fossilized myself these days.
2 people like this
@OneOfMany (7876)
• United States
20 Mar
Megalodon tooth next to a pen
Florida was the nesting site of Carcharias Megalodon, the largest shark in the ocean. It went extinct about 1.5 million years ago, although some think that it lived to only 300,000 years ago. Some even think it might have lived to today, but that's unlikely, since the only place it could live undetected is the deep ocean where it is cold, and it hunted whales in the warmer oceans when it was alive. Back then, there was a warm ocean current that flowed around the equator that was cut off when South America met Central America. That was the beginning of the end for that apex predator. I've never found any teeth of any shark, but I have one of theirs, shown above.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
That's a pretty large tooth you have there! Is that from a Megalodon? I remember hearing in the news that people were finding lots of those teeth in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew blew through last year. I'm certainly glad nothing of that size exists today!
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (7876)
• United States
21 Mar
@moffittjc Yes, it's from a Megalodon. It's about a medium sized one. They could get much bigger! I didn't hear that news. I would love to find one randomly. Although I have to wonder what condition it would be in. That one in the picture was bought years ago. Apparently there was a gigantic whale that had pretty sizable teeth too, and it would eat Megalodon too. Leviathan was its name, although spelled slightly different from the biblical one.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
@OneOfMany Oh yeah, I've heard of Leviathan. That was a whale? I thought for sure it was another breed of shark!
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (15991)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
20 Mar
Never found one that big, but have collected smaller ones, in a younger life.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
I probably have hundreds of the smaller teeth (my son loves to collect them), but this is the first time I have found such a large tooth! It's now my crown jewel! I'm going to polish it and display it in my house.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (15991)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
21 Mar
@moffittjc An impressive tooth, certainly.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (20546)
• United States
21 Mar
I did that with my son once, on a beach on MD's Southern shore. It started raining, and we got soaked. I don't think we found any that we could recognize.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Mar
I never really searched for shark's teeth on the beaches as much as I searched for gold coins and other pirate treasure. Growing up on the beaches of south Florida, there was always that allure of finding an old Spanish galleon buried in the shallows and containing tons of gold coins!
1 person likes this
21 Mar
When I was tiny I found a big tooth in the garden. Mumsy took me - and it - to the museum so the lady there could tell me it was just a cow's tooth. I was insistent that it must be a dinosaur tooth and didn't believe their lies!
2 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
Something similar happened to me when I was a child. I found a bone buried deep in the ground, and I insisted it was a dinosaur bone. My dad had to break the news to me that it was merely a bone from a cow, but I would not accept that for an answer. I swore it was a dinosaur bone!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (42750)
• United States
20 Mar
I heard an interview from a man last week talking about how he and other scientists are trying to bring back the wooly mammoth. The interviewer was like, "Uh, do you really think that's a good idea?!" That is a really really cool picture. Great find!
2 people like this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Mar
I remember hearing about that interview as well, and I was thinking the same thing! I'm pretty sure we don't want to be messing around with nature like that. There's probably a pretty good reason why animals like that are extinct.
@rina110383 (21773)
21 Mar
Haven't found one. This is my first time to see one (photo).
2 people like this
@rebelann (23528)
• El Paso, Texas
22 Mar
Wow, colossal. I haven't but back in the 1960s mom found a fossilized shell fish in an area just above the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. I wish she had kept it but she didn't. We're land locked so that was a very strange find indeed.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (25009)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Mar
I bet that fossil your mom found provided quite a bit of conversation over how it got there!
1 person likes this
@rebelann (23528)
• El Paso, Texas
23 Mar
She was fascinated with it @moffittjc but I was a kid and coulda cared less, typical 12 year old.