One my favourite pass times is looking for fossilised shark teeth on the beach, for someone who has never heard of this it might sound rather strange but you can find them in relative abundance on various beaches around Cape Town.
The two main spots are Milnerton lagoon mouth & Big Bay but you could really find them anywhere, just not as many. It could take a while to get your eye in but once you get the hang of it you will usually find at least one fossilised shark tooth every time you go down.
There are three potential species of sharks that you will find teeth for and the differences between them are easy to spot. Most commonly you will find Great White teeth & “Big-Tooth Mako” teeth. The Big Tooth Mako is an ancestor of the Great White and the only difference between the two teeth is that the Mako teeth are smooth and not serrated like the Great White teeth are. In the picture above the tooth on the left is from a Big-Tooth Mako and the tooth on the right from a Great White.
The third type you will find is of a Megalodon. A Megalodon is an extinct shark and its name means “big tooth” in Greek and naturally these teeth are the biggest of the three and they also have a bit more of a bulky shape.
Lately the car guards seem to have caught on and are collecting these teeth to sell to others so it’s not as easy as before but you can still find them if you look. I would suggest you have a look at a tide timetable before you go to make sure it’s near low tide as at high tide you have very little chance of finding anything.
The trick is to look for a spot where there are a bunch of shells not too far from the water line and then to follow some sort of pattern as you search to know where you have looked. From there you just keep looking and have a lot of patience! It can happen that you look for 2 hours and find nothing or you could look for 5 minutes and find a monster.
Happy Hunting 🙂