NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A father-daughter duo seems to have luck when it comes to discovering ancient shark teeth along the shores of the Grand Strand.
Most girls at Kristen Barrick's age worry about losing teeth, but while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, she found two teeth that might make the Tooth Fairy blush back in June, and more again in December.
Nine-year-old Kristen found two massive Megalodon teeth on the beach near Cherry Grove Pier over a weekend in June. Kristen's father, Ryan Barrick, said in December the family was back in Myrtle Beach, when he found a Megalodon tooth, and Kristen found two more.
Tim Handsel with Ripley's Aquarium said these teeth are not found every day, but are not uncommon. They are often uncovered by storms, dredging, or normal beach erosion. Handsel said the Carolinas shoreline has moved east and west over geologic time, so shark teeth can be found not only on the beach, but also in coastal rivers near Charleston and Marl Rock Mining in North Carolina.
Carcharocles megalodon is the largest shark that ever lived, and was an apex predator that fed on marine mammals from about 15.9 to 2.6 million years ago, according to a peer-reviewed research article by Catalina Pimiento and Christopher Clements published in October 2014.
Barrick said she planned on keeping the teeth, and passing them down over time.
"I was just so amazed," Barrick said back in June. "Now I think I'm ruined. I'll stop looking for the small ones and start looking for the big ones! Sadly yes, I know these are hard to find, and when I find two of them it's hard to stop."