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Newb In Nc


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I found my first shark tooth this weekend! Yay!

But here’s the thing: I’m a complete newb at this and have no idea how to best go about finding more.

My wife & I bought a house on Emerald Isle, NC last year. We rent it out during the summer and get down for occasional long weekends the rest of the year. I’d heard of folks finding teeth on the beach there, including a friend who was vacationing, just looking for pretty shells and found a 1.5” tooth. There have been a couple of posts here as well that seem to indicate there are teeth to be found here.

So here were the circumstances: Hurricane Sandy went by just far enough from the NC coast to kick things up but not cause serious damage (at least not too close to Emerald Isle). I got down to the beach Saturday morning, tide was rising (about 2 hours before high). There were tons of shells all over the place. Large piles of small shells, LOTS of medium sized (quarter to silver dollar sized) and even plenty of bigger stuff. So I started looking. My vision is pretty good, but I was first looking for larger, blackish, pointy triangle thingys – my focus was maybe an inch or bigger. After about 40 minutes of this, the dog was getting antsy to go back and I gave up. A couple more excursions, at differing tides, totaling about 2 hours netted one ~3/8” tooth after getting on my hands and knees and pouring through some piles of small stuff.

So my question is this: for beach combing, what are the techniques? Do I need a shovel and a few sieves? I thought my timing would be perfect coming shortly after the hurricane, but was a little disappointed to come away with such a small haul. Is there a trick to get your brain to be able to lock on to the right shapes?

Does anyone here have any experience at EI? I'll be there every weekend this November so I'd like to have a better shot.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Let me first say that I have no experience with EI. I do live down near Topsail Island and over the years we have found alot of teeth. But it is an on and off again thing. The last few years have been really slow for us. A lot of the areas that have produced in the past for us no longer do because of the all the beach renoureshmemt projects.

Best way that we have found is just to walk the beach and look for them. Slow down till you develop an eye for spotting them. Good luck.

Edited by kirk
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First let me say welcome tot he forum. I am very familiar with Emerald Isle. I have been going there since I was a kid, when the main road was sand and there was no Emerald Isle Bridge. I grew up not to far from there, closer to Atlantic Beach, but you get the picture. My youngest daughter lives there now behind the Food Lion and I am about 40 minutes from there on HWY 58, you probably pass right by me on the way there. The beach there occasionally offers up a few teeth. Not as common as Onslow beach or Topsail, but you can find them. You have the right idea by looking in the shell and gravel piles. Just take it slow and easy.

Bulldozers and dirt Bulldozers and dirt
behind the trailer, my desert
Them red clay piles are heaven on earth
I get my rocks off, bulldozers and dirt

Patterson Hood; Drive-By Truckers


image.png.0c956e87cee523facebb6947cb34e842.png May 2016  MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png.a47e14d65deb3f8b242019b3a81d8160.png.b42a25e3438348310ba19ce6852f50c1.png May 2012 IPFOTM5.png.fb4f2a268e315c58c5980ed865b39e1f.png.1721b8912c45105152ac70b0ae8303c3.png.2b6263683ee32421d97e7fa481bd418a.pngAug 2013, May 2016, Apr 2020 VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png.af5065d0585e85f4accd8b291bf0cc2e.png.72a83362710033c9bdc8510be7454b66.png.9171036128e7f95de57b6a0f03c491da.png Oct 2022

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Welcome from Washington!

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
-Albert Einstein


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Welcome aboard!

Here are two super-basic general rules of thumb:

1) Hunt low tide.

2) Wave action sorts by size and density; pay attention to accumulations of gravel.

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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Thanks all!

I did see a post about the waves sorting by size and noticed that right away - very helpful.

And I never thought about all the beach nourishment projects going on on the coast. I'm sure that has a major effect.

I'm thinking I'll try and spend more time enjoying my walks on the beach while keeping half an eye to the ground for fossils. Maybe time would be better spent heading up to Aurora!

Has anyone had experience hunting on Shark Tooth Island? http://wikimapia.org/#lat=34.6758902&lon=-77.1300691&z=18&l=0&m=b

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most the time beach finds are worn. If i were you i would head on up to green mill run. Thousands of teeth are found their. on shark tooth island, are you talking about the spot near cherry point. Sixgill told me to walk left for 2 miles and you will reach the exposure.

one day i will find a tooth over 3 inches in good conditon haha.

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