A little history on shark teeth…
Sharks like warm and shallow water, and there’s a lot of that in Florida. Also, ten million years ago, Florida was submerged under water teeming with sharks. As the water subsided, many species of sharks died out.
Sharks can lose between 20,000-25,000 teeth over their lifetime. They are constantly losing teeth and growing new ones. When a tooth falls out, it gets covered in sediment which protects it. Then, permineralization replaces the inside of cells with mineral crystals. The silica, calcites, etc. in the minerals determine the color. The black teeth are about 10,000 years old. Those are primarily the ones we find, and a lot of them are from prehistoric sharks. That continues to amaze me!
Both last year and this year are supposed to be good “hunting ” years as there is off-shore dredging going on. I’ve read differing accounts on the dredging…one us that they do it to deepen the channel in the St. Mary’s River for the submarines going to and from Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. Another is that it’s done to replenish sand on the beach. I like to think it’s done for the first reason and the beach benefits from it. The work is done by the Army Corp of Engineers and costs millions of dollars. It might be worth it if I could find a few more teeth!
Ashley’s veteran shark tooth finding friend texted her a photo of six teeth she found this morning. I asked Ashley to find out where she found them and her friend replied, “Just off Reefer Street”. I asked Tim to Google Reefer Street. He did, but didn’t get any results. Finally it dawned on us that if you have to ask where Reefer Street is, perhaps you don’t belong there.
Knowing that Ashley was home with a sick child, Tim and I took off on an expedition without telling her. Well, it didn’t pay off as we didn’t find a single tooth. I’m not telling her that either. She might say we got what we deserved.