Although Gainesville is not “the shark’s tooth capital of the world”, it is home to a wide variety of fossils found in sandy creeks and river beds. One of the most well-known spots for finding shark’s teeth is Alfred A. Ring Park, which is Gainesville’s first linear natural park.
Alfred A. Ring Park park opened in November of 1990, according to a Gainesville Sun article, and it is located at 1801 NW 23 Blvd. Many refer to this endeavor as a “mini-hike” because the travel time from the parking lot through the forest to Hogtown Creek takes about five to seven minutes via walking.
Hunting Tip: Pop the screen out from your window to sift through the sand.
Amazon also sells sifters made for shelling and shark’s teeth hunting. The average price of a sifter is about $15.
The clear water in Hogtown Creek makes it easier to find shark’s teeth. When sifting, look for triangular shaped objects. The coloring of a fossilized tooth can include an array of black, dark brown, grey or tan.
The UF students hunting on this particular Saturday afternoon found 25 shark’s teeth in about an hour spent searching through the sand.
Hunting for shark’s teeth is one of my favorite past times. This hobby is a great way to relax. Not to mention, leaving the park with a few souvenirs is very rewarding.
Shark’s Teeth Fun Facts, according to the Beach Chair Scientist:
- Shark’s teeth are not white because the sediment on top of them creates a lack of oxygen and bacteria.
- A shark’s tooth takes approximately 10,000 years to fossilize.
- A human tooth and a shark’s tooth are equally as hard!
Difficulty of Exploration: 3/10
Items Required: transportation to Alfred A. Ring Park, waterproof sandals (such as Crocs, Chacos or Tevas) and a sifter (optional)
Travel Time from Gainesville: approximate 5-minute drive from UF’s campus [Travel time can vary depending on traffic]
Contentment Level Post-Trip: 10/10 [dependent on your hunting luck]