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How Scarce are Fossilized Great White Shark Teeth


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Jurassic_Joe

Hello everyone! So something that I have been wondering recently is what is the prevalence of fossilized great white shark teeth? Any time I go online, into shops or shows there seems to be a lack of fossilized great white shark teeth. I always see megalodon teeth, mako teeth, and other fossilized teeth from all kinds of species of sharks but rarely do I see fossilized great white shark teeth. Is this because they aren't as common? Or are they just not as high of a demand as other teeth such as megs or makos? From what I understand they can be found in the Carolinas, Chile, and even here sometimes in south Florida in creeks and sometimes in Bone Valley. I own a few of my own but they weren't easy to find. Please let me know your thoughts. If you own some yourself please feel free to share! I would love to see them!

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  • Fossildude19 changed the title to How Scarce are Fossilized Great White Shark Teeth
fossilhunter21

I have heard that they are fairly rare. I don't collect them, but that is what I have heard. :Confused05:

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In our region (Florida) they are rare as hen's teeth. ;)

 

In 15 years of occasional fossil hunting in Florida I've found a good number of megalodons (and many times more "fraglodons") in the Peace River and other localities. I have precisely 2 GW teeth and neither of them came from the Peace River. One was found diving in shallow water just off the public beaches in Venice, FL and the other was found sitting on the bank of Cookiecutter Creek (more famous for its Isistius triangulus teeth). There are fossil hunters here on the forum like @Shellseeker who get out fossil hunting way more often than I do and they have accumulated a number of GW teeth but those numbers are still probably a fraction of the megs and what we used to call "makos" but now more properly call "white shark" teeth as the current thinking places then as ancestors of the modern day Great White Shark.

 

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/florida-vertebrate-fossils/species/carcharodon-hastalis/

 

A few years back I had the opportunity to go diving for megs at the Meg Ledges offshore from Wilmington, NC. Megs are quite common up there as are its predecessor C. chubutensis with the cute little side cusps. I picked up more GW teeth on that one trip than I had ever found in Florida. Sadly, the roots don't seem to be very solid and many were preserved with poorly preserved (or absent) roots.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Kwn

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Troodon

I remember going to the Tucson Fossil show when there was no embargo on South America material there were trays full of Chilean Great White teeth so those were plentiful at the time.  Peruvian GW material was significantly less.  If I look back at my collection GW's from California, Mexico and the eastern shore states they made up a lower percentage of teeth than the other types of species. 

 

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Jurassic_Joe
3 minutes ago, Troodon said:

I remember going to the Tucson Fossil show when there was no embargo on South America material there were trays full of Chilean Great White teeth so those were plentiful at the time.  Peruvian GW material was significantly less.  If I look back at my collection GW's from California, Mexico and the eastern shore states they made up a lower percentage of teeth than the other types of species. 

 

I've noticed that. It seems as though a lot of the GW teeth available come from Chile. I follow a few fossil hunters who quite often find GW teeth in Bone Valley of all places. Nice ones too. I'm looking into how to go about hunting in Bone Valley to see if I can find some there. But yes, I've noticed they are pretty rare compared to other species. Even the fossil show I went to in Tampa this past weekend I could only find two for sale...should have picked those up instead of the faked spino fossils...would have been a lot cheaper too. Hopefully there will be more available at the Venice Shark Tooth Festival next month. Still though, I'd prefer to find them myself. Some of the ones I've seen from the Carolinas are beautiful! I actually own a couple including a copper red GW tooth found in the Meherrin River. I would love to go there, dive and see what can be found!

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Crusty_Crab

There was an earlier thread that had some good responses which you might find helpful:

It appears there are some sites here in Southern California where they were incredibly abundant. Unfortunately, many of these sites are no longer accessible due to development or other factors, which may also partly explain their general rarity. My experience has also been that finding teeth with complete roots are incredibly rare. During all of my excursions, I've only found one sizable tooth with a complete-ish root. As you can see the root was very fragile and the top left corner had broken off when the tooth weathered out. I spent about half an hour on my hands and knees looking for that corner. 

 

LLA200502003-1.thumb.jpg.c3bd626082e3aa962ba95b5aecea9103.jpg

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Jurassic_Joe
1 hour ago, Crusty_Crab said:

During all of my excursions, I've only found one sizable tooth with a complete-ish root. As you can see the root was very fragile and the top left corner had broken off when the tooth weathered out. I spent about half an hour on my hands and knees looking for that corner. 

I appreciate the thread! I'll be sure to check it out! I suppose that just goes to show how rare they really are. That would have drove me crazy if I couldn't find that portion of the root. I probable wouldn't have slept or left the site until I found it! Eventually I want to make my way up to South Carolina. I've seen some of the megs that come from there and they're absolutely stunning.

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Shellseeker
On 3/22/2022 at 7:43 AM, Jurassic_Joe said:

From what I understand they can be found in the Carolinas, Chile, and even here sometimes in south Florida in creeks and sometimes in Bone Valley.

.... and sometimes in Sarasota or Manatee county, Florida...  Welcome to the Fossil Forum.. It is true that GWs are much scarcer than Megs... I would say over time , I find 100 Megs, 10 Makos, 2-3 GWs of equivalent size and quality per year,  larger teeth on land rather than water...

As @digit indicates, there is a huge amount of information and hints at University of Florida Museum of Natural History  website and the insights of a scientist like Robert Boessenecker are worth more than gold to those of us chasing the elusive Great White Shark.

IMG_5105.thumb.JPEG.7c0174628e5e7fc126820bd93e2c036e.JPEGIMG_5103.thumb.JPEG.1cbfb79395f9acdffcabcdd8099f758e.JPEG2017Oct27GreatWhite1.thumb.JPG.942834dddc89633f125d511a585f8b10.JPG

 

These GWs are land finds... I am a Florida Fossil Hunter.  I attempt to learn all that I can from the finds that I make. The 1st two photos were found about 4 feet apart in a 10 inch thick layer,  above the layers that contained Megalodons. I always thought that layer was Pliocene in age.

 

I have occasionally found GWs and Megs in close proximity.  That really makes me speculate on how they ended up there.... Found these 3 weeks apart, 10 feet apart...

MegSitu.thumb.JPG.d785fdcde83c2ae73ccec18e1c6e288c.JPG2017May23GreatWhiteTxT.thumb.jpg.6082b1afb578d41e85eda9b54daf9954.jpg

 

Mostly,  I find GWs with Makos but not Megs

10Oct2021_GreatWhite.jpg.70f41b2e66f278d295527aefb6f35c7d.jpg

 

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Jurassic_Joe
1 hour ago, Shellseeker said:

.... and sometimes in Sarasota or Manatee county, Florida...  Welcome to the Fossil Forum.. It is true that GWs are much scarcer than Megs... I would say over time , I find 100 Megs, 10 Makos, 2-3 GWs of equivalent size and quality per year,  larger teeth on land rather than water...

As @digit indicates, there is a huge amount of information and hints at University of Florida Museum of Natural History  website and the insights of a scientist like Robert Boessenecker are worth more than gold to those of us chasing the elusive Great White Shark.

Those are some incredible finds! Especially teeth you found in peace river. They look pretty clean to me! From some of the other discussions i've read some fossil hunters go years before finding GW teeth. This past summer-fall I've found about 5 megs and 1-2 makos. That was just from diving off the coast of Venice a few times with Aquanutz. I live in the Sarasota area and I'm surprised you can find fossils in Sarasota and or Manatee County. This is actually the first time I'm hearing about it. Everything that I have found has either been in Venice or North Port. Where exactly in Sarasota or Manatee can you find fossils? Where would be a good place to start in this area and also going about finding fossils in peace river? Any fossils for that matter, not just GW teeth. 

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Shellseeker
2 hours ago, Jurassic_Joe said:

Those are some incredible finds! Especially teeth you found in peace river. They look pretty clean to me! From some of the other discussions i've read some fossil hunters go years before finding GW teeth. This past summer-fall I've found about 5 megs and 1-2 makos. That was just from diving off the coast of Venice a few times with Aquanutz. I live in the Sarasota area and I'm surprised you can find fossils in Sarasota and or Manatee County. This is actually the first time I'm hearing about it. Everything that I have found has either been in Venice or North Port. Where exactly in Sarasota or Manatee can you find fossils? Where would be a good place to start in this area and also going about finding fossils in peace river? Any fossils for that matter, not just GW teeth. 

Joe,

Most hunters do not hunt specific fossil types like Great White or Sloth or Mammoth. I put myself in a location and then the fossils find me. I go back more frequently to places that have the fossils I like best.

 

So, one reason  that I have more of everything is that I hunt more than anyone I know. I have found 7 Sloth claws... many hunters are fortunate to have one or 2.  I retired from work in 2007 and became addicted to fossil hunting. 5 years ago , I was hunting 4-5 times a week, with 8 hours digging gravel every one of those days. Now , I only hunt 2-3 days a week.. It is getting harder.

 

So , you live close to "Bone Valley", one of the premier fossil hunting areas in the world.  I have a working hypothesis that in an area Fort Myers to Tampa, 60 mile inland from the Gulf of Mexico, you could dig a hole to the original ocean bottom and find fossils. Go check out one of Mark Renz books,  "Giants in a Storm" about a fossil dig in LaBelle, Florida. So , exactly to Venice and North Port, but we do not want the whole world to know my secret spots.

 

In looking at those two 2 plus inch river GWs, note that I said "Peace River Formation" and "Peace River Watershed" on the photos... That covers every puddle, lake, pond, creek and river from the Chattahoochee River, North to Tampa (and above), west to the Gulf, and east to Bartow Florida... On the Peace River itself, I have hunted every spot between Nocatee and Bartow (about 60 miles by car). 

 

My key to hunting the Peace River is to avoid all the spots that are easy to get to... There are shallow rapids that are pretty good at stopping power boats. I use a kayak, which I port across those rapids and many times over and around down trees. I feel very comfortable 3-4 miles from the nearest habitation. I generally do not see other fossil hunters, mostly other canoes/kayaks are fishing or day tripping downstream.

 

Part of the problem is that the Peace River is not very "Pliocene" in fauna.  Great Whites have existed approximately 5 million years, but how much of that 5 million years had salt water over Zolfo Springs... I think very little.. To me , that is the reason that there are few Great White teeth in the Peace River, and more Great White Teeth closer to the Gulf of Mexico.  I have about 25 total Great White teeth of which 4 came out of the Peace River.  I have one from the Bowling Green section of the Peace River, and none further upstream.

 

I think most of this is common sense. There are few shortcuts to finding Incredible fossils, but large amounts of luck and money might help..

 

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Jurassic_Joe
1 hour ago, Shellseeker said:

Part of the problem is that the Peace River is not very "Pliocene" in fauna.  Great Whites have existed approximately 5 million years, but how much of that 5 million years had salt water over Zolfo Springs... I think very little.. To me , that is the reason that there are few Great White teeth in the Peace River, and more Great White Teeth closer to the Gulf of Mexico.  I have about 25 total Great White teeth of which 4 came out of the Peace River.  I have one from the Bowling Green section of the Peace River, and none further upstream.

I think that's a very well thought out hypothesis and answers my question more so than I could have imagined or thought out myself admittedly. I appreciate all the insight you have given me! I'm eggar to go out there to explore and see what comes across my path. I'm confident there's more than enough secrets here that are awaiting to be discovered. And you can bet I want to be the one who unearths some of those secrets and discovers them for the first time in millions of years. Meanwhile, learn how they came to be in the spots where they are discovered. There's so much to learn and so much to get excited about!

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  • 4 weeks later...
C.P. Sheridan

Hi Joe, In my experience C. carcharius teeth seem less common than requiem sharks say, in places where shark teeth are common fossils. That said the species has been around a long time, have long individual lives,  and continually shed very durable teeth over sea bottoms. One shark will shed a large number over the course of its life. It seems like certain Neogene deposits, perhaps because they were ancient whale nurseries, they are more common ie. Chile, Baja, and Malta.

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