If you are looking for a fun way to spend the day or just an afternoon, then make your way to one of the beautiful beaches of Manasota Key, FL. As soon as you get to the barrier island off the coast of Englewood, you know these people value what's important in life~seashells!
The island has no traffic lights, no high rises and lots of charm. There are four parks to visit on the island, Englewood Beach, Manasota Beach, Blind Pass and Stump Pass. I had heard about all the shark teeth to be found on Manasota Key and had to see for myself. So a month ago some friends and I headed out on a roadtrip, on the hunt for shark teeth and other unique fossils washed ashore from the ancient fossil beds just off shore.
We met up with friend and fellow blogger, Karen Blackford, of The Essential Beachcomber, who gave us a few pointers on finding the shark teeth and she brought along a shell scoop for scooping up loads of shell crush to sift through on our search.
The first thing I noticed about these beaches is the color~grey to almost black. The darker the sand the more likelihood there is of finding fossils.
At the end near the pass, we found sweet spot of shell crush, mounds of larger crushed shell that is loaded with shark's teeth.
(click on the photo for a closer view)
After a long afternoon of searching, we came home tired, sunburnt and happy and loaded down with cool fossils and shark teeth. Take a look~
All shapes and colors~
These are puffer fish mouth plates.
Larger Partial Teeth
I decided Mom had to see this! I called up Karen and she met us there yesterday for another hunt!
The crushed shell lined the beach. There were so many shark teeth that it was not uncommon for us to find 4, 5, or even 6 in a single pass! Mom started the day with 2 1/2 teeth in her collection.....
...and came home with 157 from Manasota Key!
And while I thought I had had a good day the last time with over 100 perfect shark's teeth...
I blew it out of the water this time by finding 247!
Karen found this big beauty!
I'm not quite sure what this is~I think it the tooth of some large mammal, maybe a horse. I was taken aback by the beautiful black and white detail~can you say pendant?
I'm pretty sure from what I've been told this is Mammoth tooth. You can see the layers in the enamel of the tooth. This is a beautiful specimen, with streaks of gold through the white parts of the tooth.
(Remember to click the photo for a closer view~this one deserves a closer look.)
Other odd fossils and larger partial shark teeth.
Some of my beauties!
The different colors in the teeth are caused by the type of sediment it nestled in for its long sleep, which can be as long as millions of years.
Manasota Key is my newest favorite place to visit. With its old school charm and fabulously fun beaches, here's another to add to your list of beaches to see!