Here are answers to a few common questions

If you have a question not answered here, please post it in the comments and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

1. Why the name 2TerribleToads?

A. There are a couple of good answers It just kind of sings doesn’t it? There there’s the issue with finding a URL that hadn’t been taken. We were surprised 2TerribleToads was available. At least we didn’t name it something silly like Google!

2. What does 2TerribleToads have to do with beach or camping gear?
A. Well, nothing until you visit the website. You’ll have to admit though. It is a catchy little name that’s easy to remember, right? We first started with Beachy-Keen-Gear.com but no one could remember the name, so we changed to something a bit more memorable.

3. How old are shark’s teeth we find on Florida beaches?

A. Sharks have been around for around 400 million years but modern sharks, like the ones that shed the teeth we find on our beaches, are from somewhere between the Eocene and Pliocene Epochs. That’s a fancy way of saying somewhere between 2 and 56 million years old. Most are closer to the 2 million-year-old mark. 

4. Why are most of the shark’s teeth I find black?

A. A great question! It has to do with the type of minerals present in the layer of sediment the tooth was covered by. Some teeth can be lighter colors and are considered more valuable because they are rarer. Some of the lighter shades are due to the tooth being exposed before the fossilization process was complete, which reportedly takes about 10,000 years.

5. Do I have to have a permit to collect shark’s teeth on the beach?

A. Nope. In Florida, it’s only illegal to collect vertebrate fossils (excluding shark’s teeth) without a permit from public lands owned by the State. A permit to collect vertebrate fossils on state land can be obtained through the Florida Museum of Natural History. It’s only $5 and well worth the investment. Get yours here: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/vertpaleo/amateur-collector/fossil-permit/permit-application/

6. If shark’s teeth and other fossils are millions of years old, where have they been hiding all this time?

A. Fossil beds can be found at varying depths under the earth and sea bottom. On the west coast of Florida, beds are buried 18 to 35 feet below the surface, some over a hundred miles from shore. A Trilobite from the early Cambrian Era was found in a core sample at a depth of 4500 feet here in Florida. Simply stated, as erosion uncovers shallower buried beds, wave action frees some from the sediment and they wash ashore. Some are washed out of creeks and rivers, then wash ashore.

7. With so many people collecting shark’s teeth, won’t they all soon be gone?

A. Like we said before, modern sharks have been around by the millions for 54 million years. Each one of those sharks shed thousands of teeth in its lifetime. Biologists say about 35,000 teeth in a lifetime. Multiply that by just a few of those 54 million years and imagine a sizeable percentage of those being fossilized and you can see we aren’t likely to run out of teeth anytime soon. Not in our lifetime, anyway.

8. What kinds of fossils do you find on the beach besides shark’s teeth?

A. Virtually any that you can imagine other than Dinosaurs. Florida didn’t emerge as a landmass until after the Mesozoic Era, 245 to 146 million years ago when dinosaurs had already come and gone. Dinosaurs were extinct around 30 million years before the landmass we know as Florida emerged from the ocean. That’s why you won’t find any Dinosaurs in Florida.

Florida is a spring chicken in geologic terms at a youthful age of 1.8 to 5 million years old. You can find bones, teeth, and vertebrae from various species. There’s stingray grinding plates, puffer fish mouth plates, whale, dolphin, and gator teeth, thousands upon thousands of possibilities! We are talking millions of tons of fossils out there waiting to be found. There also ancient artifacts like pottery, arrowheads, stone tools, gold coins, ship bits, even an occasional note in a bottle.