In order to fully appreciate the magnitude of this post (and every other post regarding the “Florida Beaches Royalty Tour”), one must read this post as though I’m speaking to you in a British accent.
Ahhh, the New Year starts off with a bang here at ShellKing dot com. The Queen suggested some new things for 2013 and came up with a great idea. “Bligh me, Shell King, what say we visit a different beach every month in 2013 and blog about it?”
Brilliant idea, I say! Brilliant, that Shell Queen.
(OK, back to regular English)
In December, the Queen and I put together a list of twelve beaches we’ll visit and blog about throughout this year. Our first stop – Manasota Beach in Englewood/Venice, also known as the “Shark Tooth Capitol of the World”. It’s a quick jaunt up I-75 from Fort Myers, off the Jacaranda exit and West until you hit the ocean. Naturally, we went to find some shark teeth.
As a child, I was obsessed with sharks. Obsessed is putting it mildly. My father bought my brother and I a shark book when we were children and I read that thing cover to cover multiple times (I still have it, too). Once I read the story of Rodney Fox, I was hooked. I’d say by ten years old, I was a self-proclaimed juvenile shark expert. So, each time I have gone to the beach, I have searched for shark teeth hoping to find just one. I haven’t been able to find any. That is, until this weekend.
It did not disappoint. It is a beautiful beach as well. I’m sure when the waters get clearer this Summer, it will be a great place to snorkel and find some real keeper shells, which this time around I was not interested in finding. It was all about the toofs for me.
Every single time we scooped with the rake, we found at least one. Sometimes, we found five or six.
So why are there so many shark teeth, and why are they found primarily in that area? Good question. The Queen and I asked each other the same thing. The answer can be found on Venice, Florida‘s own website, http://www.VeniceFlorida.com:
“For millions of years, sharks have lived and died in the Gulf of Mexico. Dead sharks sink to the ocean floor where they are covered by layers of sand and silt. Over time, the cartilage of their bodies disintegrates. Water and storm action eventually sweeps the sand away, exposing the teeth. Some are washed up on shore with the changing tides and waves.”
As you can see, there is also a wide species range of shark teeth. Looking at the picture above, you can see we found teeth from a Bull Shark, Mako Shark, Sand Tiger Shark and what looks to be a Lemon or Dusky Shark. We found 127 teeth in all.
Here’s a better view, including a distinctly predatory-looking rock. He sorta has the look of a Great White, doesn’t he?
With the first leg of the Florida Beaches Royalty Tour under our belts, I can assure you that we WILL be back to Manasota Beach in the near future. Next month we will be visiting –
Ah Ah Ahhhhhh…can’t tell you yet.
You’ll just have to tune in. 😉