Shark teeth are impressive to behold.
Sharks live in oceans around the world and have done so since prehistoric times. These ancient sharks represented different species, just like today’s sharks. A common denominator, though, is that sharks teeth are sharp and triangular. During the lifetime of a shark, thousands of teeth are lost and replaced. Whether ancient or modern, the teeth drop to the bottom of the water. If covered up quickly with sediment, fossilization can occur. Discoveries of fossilized shark teeth occur near water and on land, in areas that long ago were underwater.
When attempting to find shark teeth, start by learning what they look like. Shark teeth range in shape, size and color. Visit a museum where shark teeth are on display, check out the library for books on identifying shark teeth or go online and research shark teeth.
Tried and True
Ask people at museums, a local college, park officials, or people you know if they know where shark teeth are or have been found. Contact geology or fossil hunting groups for locations to find these fossils.
Obtain topographical or geological survey maps that show land formations. Use these when searching for the location of the fossil site.
Use a notebook to record the types of sharks teeth found. Include such information as size, color, and location. Describe other fossils found with the shark teeth. They may provide a means to date the fossil shark teeth.
A small handheld hammer with a claw and a variety of chisels are useful for removing shark teeth from rocks. A sieve is handy for sifting through beach sand. Carry the fossil “finds” in a container with a lid. Use tissue paper to wrap delicate finds.
Locate ancient oceans. Due to geologic changes, such as the uplifting and sinking of Earth’s tectonic plates, ancient bodies of water may now be mountains. Look for rocks known to harbor fossils. Fossils formed in sedimentary rock. One example of sedimentary rock is sandstone. Another example is limestone, which come in chalk and shale forms.
A strong storm churns up sediment and tosses items up on a beach. Following a storm is a good time to see what was placed on a shoreline. Look for places where soil is being moved, such as a quarry, construction sites for buildings or roads, river and streambeds and beaches of oceans and lakes.
Always ask first before entering private or property to find shark teeth. If it’s a park, check with park officials about any fossil collecting policies. Remember to leave the area looking undisturbed. Simply, be considerate of the landowner, whether public or private..