Hunt for Shark’s Teeth on Caspersen Beach in Venice

You can do all sorts of things on Caspersen Beach – sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, reading, paddling, shelling, making sandcastles and you can also hunt for prehistoric shark’s teeth!

The sign welcoming visitors to the Sharks Tooth Capitval of the World - Caspersen Beach Venice, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides, MustDo.com.

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Known as the Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World, the Gulf waters at Caspersen Beach has converging currents that deposit all sorts of sediment on the shallow drop-offs along the beach. At low tide, and particularly after a storm, the receding waters leave behind shells, small rocks and a surprising number of fossilized shark’s teeth.

Gulf of Mexico and Caspersen Beach, Venice Florida. Photo credit Nita Ettinger, Must Do Visitor Guides, MustDo.com.

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Before you head down to the sands with your bucket and spade, checkout exactly what shark’s teeth looks like so you don’t discard them by mistake.

MustDo.com | Look at the shark teeth he found at Caspersen Beach Venice, Florida! Photo by Debi Pittman Wilkey.

Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

These warm Gulf waters were once home to giant sharks such as carcharodon megalodons. Their fossilized teeth are distinctly triangular with one long point and two shorter points at the thicker base. They look like black onyx. If you think you have found a shark’s tooth a good test is to try to break it – if it crumbles, it’s not a shark’s tooth as they are very hard.

MustDo.com | Caspersen Beach Venice, Florida is a great beach to hunt for sharks teeth!

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

How to Hunt for Shark’s Teeth on Caspersen Beach

You need a small garden shovel or garden pick, a sieve and a bucket or bag to keep your treasure safe. Some places around Venice sell box-like traps for scooping up the sand and letting it wash through the bottom mesh. Larger debris can then be examined to see if you have netted a shark’s tooth.

MustDo.com | Must Do Family Fun Hunting for Sharks teeth on Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida. Photo credit Nita Ettinger.

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Scoop up some sand from just below the waterline then wash it in your sieve to get rid of the fine sand. Tip the larger remains onto the sand and examine it carefully. Sharks’ teeth may be tiny dime-sized pieces but you may find some up to three inches in length. Persistence will certainly reward you with a shark’s tooth to keep as a souvenir of your visit.

Caspersen Beach Amenities in Venice

Once you’ve had your fill of hunting for shark’s teeth, you can enjoy the rest of Caspersen Beach’s amenities. The beautiful sandy beach is reached by boardwalks over the sand dunes to protect them from erosion. There are good facilities including parking, picnic shelters, playground, restrooms, and showers. There’s a pleasant ¾ mile nature trail winding through the mangroves and saltwater marshes to connect the beach with the Venetian Waterway Trail.

Fantastic playground and covered pavilion at Caspersen Beach Venice, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides, MustDo.com.

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

It’s a great place to spot crabs, herons, egrets and other wildlife. The area is good for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Altogether Caspersen covers 177 acres of cabbage palms, sea grapes, and sea oats. It was bought from the Caspersen family in 1986 for public use.

Caspersen Beach Venice, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides, MustDo.com

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

The beach stretches over 1½ miles and you can actually reach Manasota Key 4 miles away if you keep walking south. You’ll see shore birds, plenty of seashells and if you’re really lucky you may spot the nests of sea turtles.

MustDo.com | Loggerhead sea turtle nest on the beach Sarasota, Florida USA. Photo credit Nita Ettinger, Must Do Visitor Guides

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

They are usually marked by volunteers with yellow tape and chicken wire to deter raccoons and other predators. If you do see a nest, it is important not to disturb the area.

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Nita Ettinger is the co-publisher for Siesta Publications and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed publications and the website MustDo.com. Must Do Visitor Guides are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County chambers of commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications are found.

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