Venice hosts 3-day shark’s tooth festival in mid-April
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sharks have lived and died in the Gulf of Mexico for millions of years, and since the mighty ocean predators continually produce new teeth (up to 24,000 in the lifetime of a single tiger shark) it stands to reason that some of those teeth end up as fossils that wash up on Florida beaches.
During those eons, millions of sharks have died and sunk to the bottom of the gulf, where the carcasses are covered with silt and sand. The flesh and cartilage of the bodies disintegrate, but the teeth remain and gradually become fossilized. Some of them eventually wash up on the beaches with changing tides and waves, where they fascinate beachcombers who sift the sand with long-handles sieves in hopes of finding a perfect specimen — perhaps a well-preserved, five-inch dagger from a Carcharodon megalodon, at 50 feet, the largest shark to ever swim the seas.
The area around Venice, Florida, is a ground zero of sorts for the petrified teeth, and this weekend (April 8-10, 2011), the seaside town celebrates its status with a three-day shark’s tooth festival. The event features plenty of shark’s tooth hunting on the beach, as well as displays by hundreds of vendors selling prime specimens of shark’s teeth, as well as other prehistoric fossils. (more…)
Filed under: Florida, Travel | Tagged: Florida, Fossil, fossils, Gulf of Mexico, Manasota Key Florida, Megalodon, petrified shark't teeth, Shark, Summit County News, Travel, Venice Florida, Venice shark's tooth festival | Leave a Comment »