Shark Teeth of Venice

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All over the town of Venice, in every house and condo, there is at least one container proudly displaying treasured prehistoric shark’s teeth found on local beaches. And every day, at all the beaches nearby, you’ll see visitors and locals alike scouring the sand and searching underwater looking for even more and hopefully even BIGGER shark’s teeth to add to their collection. That’s a LOT of shark’s teeth.

Why is Venice the Shark Tooth Capital of the World? Venice and all of Florida 12 million years ago was totally submerged underwater. The warm waters, that we know refer to as the Gulf of Mexico were full of marine creatures, many of which are, thankfully extinct. In addition to sharks, prehistoric animals roamed such as mastodons, mammoths and sober-tooth cats.

The species of sharks included makos, bull, sand, lemon, great whites, tiger and the one that stands out in the crowd is the Megalodon Shark, the largest marine predator ever in the History of the World. The Megalodon's mouth was large enough to drive a car in and almost 100 tons more than the largest shark alive today, the Great White.

In fact, if you have been to the Chalk Festival at the Venice Airport you would have had the opportunity to take your picture standing inside the mouth of a Megalodon. In 2013 the Chalk Festival organization brought in artists from all over the world to create a 3D illusion world record that spans two football fields long. The resulting illusion gives spectators a chance to relive inside the now extinct shark! In 2019 the illusion was restored so come this October 29-Nov. 1 to take your photo between the Megalodon's teeth.

Megaladon’s teeth grow to be 6″ long and like modern sharks, if one one tooth is lost, a new tooth moves forward to replace the missing tooth. Many sharks’ teeth are displayed with the flat front side down, so we often are looking at the back side of the tooth.So, millions and millions of shark’s, not just Megaladon’s, but hundreds of varieties, each losing thousands of teeth for millions and millions of years, not so hard to figure out why anyone has a good chance of finding some.


Annie headshot

Annie Crouch

Annie is a student at Ringling College of Art and Design. She has experience with both private and public murals, and specializes in organic scenes and vivid colors.

"As a member of the Sarasota community, I was excited to be a part of such an amazing public art event. I enjoyed researching and exhibiting parts of Sarasota history through my passion, while also sharing it with others. In addition, it was extremely inspiring to be working with such skilled and experienced artists as part of a united project."

I painted:
-A flyer from the Sarasota French Film Festival
-A night blooming cactus flower from the Marie Selby Gardens
-A mermaid with a “minimum wake” warning
-The seahorse statue from the Lido Beach Casino
-A historic photo taken of local orange farmers
-Different shark teeth found in Venice,FL