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Why are there no sharks teeth on Brunswick beaches? Topsail Island has SO many!

Amanda Lisk
StarNews
Sharks teeth at the Museum of Coastal Carolina. Contributed photo

Sharks teeth at the Museum of Coastal Carolina. Contributed photo

Brunswick Island beaches are south facing beaches and are farther away from the Gulf Stream, said Deb Boyce, business/operations manager for the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach and Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach, and head of the Ocean Isle Sea Turtle protection program.

Being farther away from the Gulf Stream and those deep waters where sharks hang out, might explain a lower turnout of teeth at Brunswick beaches. But Boyce says people do have great luck finding sharks teeth at Ocean Isle Beach.

“People find them there all the time. Then they bring them in here. We have a display model of several different sharks teeth prevalent to the area, so they bring them in and try to identify them,” Boyce said.

Jennifer Metzler-Fiorino, the education curator at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, said the best time to find sharks teeth at any beach is after a storm.

“When the waves have been rough, that in general is going to wash more of anything up on shore,” she said.

Low tide is also a good time to look, with more sand available to search. Sharks lose more than 1,000 teeth in their life time and typically lose at least one per week.

The Museum of Coastal Carolina has a fossil/ shark tooth pit where you can find a plethora of teeth. In the summer, the museum hosts a series of “Megabites” programs that’s all about sharks and sharks teeth. To find the Megabites times in the summer months, visit http://museumplanetarium.org/.

For 20 facts about sharks teeth, visit:

http://beachchairscientist.com/2012/08/12/sink-your-teeth-into-this-20-facts-about-shark-teeth/

UPDATE: A professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington provided more information to MyReporter.

Another reason for fewer sharks teeth at Brunswick Island beaches compared to Topsail is rocks, said Dr. Jack Hall, professor and department chair for Environmental Studies at UNCW.

“There aren’t the right rocks offshore that contain a variety of sharks teeth,” he said. “Up around Topsail and farther north there are, and with storms they tend to break off and get washed up along the beach.”

He says at Brunswick Island beaches, the rocks have been eroded out and are missing, so therefore, not as many sharks teeth.

RELATED LINKS:

Are there sharks in coastal Carolina’s waters?

What type of shark was the 14-footer removed recently from Fort Fisher?

 

 

User-contributed question by:
mollie guerin

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