"The Boneyard"


Millions of years ago all of Florida was covered by water and one of its inhabitants was called by the scientific name “Carcharodon” better known as the Megalodon (MEG-a-la-don; meaning "big tooth" in Greek ) shark which reached in excess of 50 feet in length and a mass of 52 tons. The teeth of the giant "megatooth" shark have been found in North and South America, Europe, Australia, India, Japan, and Africa. Scientists believe the shark flourished in warm waters throughout the world. Imagine 250 teeth with 5 teeth in each row swimming by you. One can only imagine watching these amazing animals feeding because they are said to have become extinct only 2 million years ago and are believed to have been around as far back as 16 million years ago .  Megalodon sharks have been thought to shed over 20,000 teeth in their life time. The Megalodon shark’s prime food source was the whale and Dugong (prehistoric manatee). Why did the Giant "Mega-Tooth" Shark become extinct? Perhaps the reduction in ocean temperatures in the mid-Pliocene Period affected this species, which preferred warm waters. Another possibility is that one of their favored prey species, the baleen whales, had begun to migrate to colder waters where the giant sharks could not thrive. As the water table pulled back, leaving what is known as Florida, all these creatures lay to rest on the bottom. Well, you can find Megalodon teeth throughout Florida. People find Megalodon teeth in back yards or on construction sites. To find fossilized shark teeth, you have to get down into the layers of the earth to where they were buried over the years.  Millions of years of sediment deposits may cover them. The mineral content where the megalodon teeth are buried will determine the color of the final fossil.This can range from red to black. Now, we bring you to the “Boneyard”. This is an enormous area in the ocean that has gotten its reputation from divers and beach-goers finding Megalodon teeth, Dugong bones, many species of shark's teeth, whale bones, Mastodon teeth, and stingray plates.


 The "Boneyard" is located off Venice, Florida , a city which is sometimes referred to as the "Shark's Tooth Capital of the World". The town even has a special event celebrating this once a year in April. It was thought that there was a river in prehistoric days that emptied out into the ocean in the Venice area.This was a Megaladon shark feeding site,thus the reason for such a large collection of teeth and bones here. It is easy to see how divers have become addicted to hunting the Megalodon teeth when you  know that one you found has not been seen or touched by man for millions of years. Divers come from all over the world to hunt for them. Water conditions can range from top to bottom visibility to as little as 2-3 feet depending on time of year. Water temperature can be as low as 52 in January or in August as high as 84. Water depths of 20 to 30 feet allow each dive to last as long as  90 minutes, depending on the time of the year. The best time of year to dive here is during the months  of April, May and June. Divers use many ways to hunt for teeth. Some go straight off the beach, others use kayaks to get farther out and even bring extra tanks with them. The easiest way to avoid the mile swim, is take a charter which takes you right to the area . The larger teeth seem to be found further out than a normal beach dive would allow. The dive charters know where to take you and more important where not to take you. Charters can range from 50 to 80 dollars for a half day, two tank dive. One megalodon tooth can go for as high as $1000.00 to collectors. But for most divers, including me, these teeth are priceless. It’s the thrill of  the hunt , the discovery and unearthing of these amazing  prehistoric shark teeth. As one diver noted “Capt Jamie , it’s truly a cult following" .



Written by

Capt Jamie Bostwick


Fossilized Shark's Teeth

These fossilized shark’s teeth were shed by sharks that lived approximately 2-16 million years ago. The Carcharodon Megalodon shark teeth have been found in excess of 7 ½ inches in slant length (tip of blade to the edge of the root).  As shark skeletons are cartilage, there are no fossilized remains of sharks except for their teeth. The rule of thumb is 10 feet of fish per inch of tooth, meaning Megalodons could have exceeded 70 feet in length.  A modern day Great White shark rarely reaches a length greater than 22 feet. Sharks have 5 to 6 rows of teeth with approximately 300 teeth in their mouth. Through the course of their life time, they shed approximately 24,000 teeth.