Episode 60 – Best Places for Fossil Hunting in Florida

fossilized tooth, megalodon, giant shark

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What’s up this week?

Have you ever heard of fossil hunting? We are here to tell you that fossils are not just found in Egypt. In this episode, we talk all about all the locations in Florida that you can go to for fossil hunting.

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Product and Locations Mentions

If you’re serious or have kids that are serious about finding sharks’ teeth or fossil hunting, get one of those trays where you can sift out the sand. https://amzn.to/37zTQDh

This is a great place to start learning about what creatures roamed the sunshine state. Florida Museum of Natural History.

They have an exhibit where you can see Florida fossils, the evolution of life, and land. Here they’ve collected images and specimens from the Montbroook dig site in Levy County, which is just south of the museum

Some highlights are:

  1. Shark Jaw Row
  2. Megalodon Teeth
  3. Giant Ground Sloths
  4. Saber Tooth Tiger
  5. Prehistoric Sharks

If you can go during one of their “Can You Dig it” days, you get to touch and explore all the fossils, gemstones, minerals, and rocks they have, and ask questions of both students and professionals. You’ll even get to hold a meglodon tooth.

Other exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History include a butterfly exhibit, butterfly rainforest, northwest Florida waterways and wildlife, south Florida people and environments

Shark Teeth

Venice Beach is the shark tooth capital of the world. Considered the best locations, it’s a good idea to search when the water level is lower, such as at low tide.

Most shark teeth are from 1/8″ to 3/4″ or even a bit larger. The really large shark teeth are usually farther out and may require dive equipment to locate. Shark teeth collectors say the best places to look for the fossils are any beach accesses south of the Venice Jetty, including Casey Key and Manasota Key.

Caspersen Beach is also located in Venice and is probably more popular for finding sharks’ teeth. Jacksonville Beach is another great place to find sharks teeth and fossilized sea horses. Obviously, coastal areas and other Florida beaches will have more shark’s teeth throughout the state of Florida.

If you can, search the shallow waters at low tide for the best time to find shells and shark teeth.

Fossil Hunting

In Central Florida, the Peace River runs south of Winter Haven, in Polk County near Arcadia or Zolfo Springs. Fossil hunting is best to do hunting during the dry season. It is important to know before you go fossil hunting or take any fossils from public land, you need a Florida Fossil Permit to protect and preserve vertebrate fossils, including bones, teeth, natural casts, and molds, impressions, and other remains of prehistoric vertebrate animals. Fossil shark teeth are specifically excluded from these regulations, as are the fossils of plants, invertebrate animals (e.g., mollusks, sea urchins, crabs, etc.), and other organisms, so no permit is required to collect such specimens.

If you hire fossil hunters to take you on a tour, you are likely exempt from obtaining a permit.  

The Peace River cuts through 100-plus miles of an area known as Bone Valley. There’s a good chance you can find mastodon bones here and possibly some pottery shards. Shell Creek, just south of Peace River there is Shell Creek. You can find shark teeth here, as well fossilized Paleo-Indian arrowheads, shells and spear points to name a few.

Fossil hunting is a unique way to explore Florida. There are sites all over so if you’re visiting a specific location, look into the area for fossil hunting sites. Florida is full of history and is a fantastic fossil hunting state.

Florida Product of the Week

Lello Co has beautifully designed prints but in particular, her tea towels are really great. In fact, she has shark tooth tea towels. She also has oysters, palm trees, and a whole school of fish designs. 

Laura Patrick was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. Her art exhibits and painting commissions span from New York City to Los Angeles; Portland, Maine to Jacksonville, Florida.

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