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Sharks are known as iconic marine predators – and their sharp chompers come with the territory.

According to National Geographic, some shark species have hundreds to thousands of teeth at a time, which are consistently pulled out or broken by eating prey.

Marine biologist Jillian Morris explained in a National Geographic report that sharks lose their teeth in a conveyor belt-like system; Teeth constantly fall out and grow back.

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“More teeth are always developing in their jaws and moving forward to replace the ones that are lost,” she says.

“It’s an amazing design.”

A great white shark is shown up close.

A great white shark is shown up close.
(iStock)

Sharks can lose 50,000 teeth in a lifetime – and have been doing so for more than 400 million years – with plenty of discarded teeth to be found.

Modern teeth are found off the coast of America, but fossil shark teeth are more common in certain locations, especially in areas that were once underwater.

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Some shark teeth may have fallen to the bottom of the ocean and become sedimentary rock over time, resurfacing as coastlines have shifted over millions of years.

Erosion from ocean waves often chips away at surface rocks – exposing fossilized teeth.

A little girl holding one of her many tooth treasures.

A little girl holding one of her many tooth treasures.
(Howard Lee Puckett/MCT/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The water rushing along the river banks also exposes fossils, as well as eroded hills.

East coast beaches in states like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are the best for unearthing fossilized shark teeth because these areas were once submerged.

Venice, Florida, is often considered the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.”

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Kenshu Shimada, a professor of paleobiology, shared with National Geographic that shark tooth hunters are likely to get lucky because more teeth are found in smaller amounts of rock in these areas due to slower sedimentary development.

A paleontology student displays a tooth from an 8- to 12-million-year-old mako shark in Scotts Valley, California, on July 14, 2005.

A paleontology student displays a tooth from an 8- to 12-million-year-old mako shark in Scotts Valley, California, on July 14, 2005.
(Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

West Coast beaches aren’t as lucky in terms of fossil teeth, but modern shark teeth can still be found.

Tips for your hunt

National Geographic recommends investigating local areas from coast to coast that were once covered by ocean to increase the odds of finding hidden treasures.

Before heading out on your hunt, carry a bag or bucket for tooth collection.

A small boy checks some shark teeth collected during the 32nd annual North Atlantic Monster Shark Fishing Tournament in New Bedford, Mass., Saturday, July 14, 2018.

A small boy checks some shark teeth collected during the 32nd annual North Atlantic Monster Shark Fishing Tournament in New Bedford, Mass., Saturday, July 14, 2018.
(Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s best to head out to the beach early, as well as search at low tide or after a storm, when the ocean stirs things up.

Tooth searching requires a lot of patience.

National Geographic suggests searching slowly, especially if you’re bringing small children along for the ride.

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More teeth are exposed under the wet sand washed ashore by the waves, so bring a small shovel to dig deeper.

A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) - baited by animal guide Andre Hartmann - surfaces with an impressive open mouth in the Atlantic Ocean on December 2, 2007 in Gansby, South Africa.

A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) – baited by animal guide Andre Hartmann – surfaces with an impressive open mouth in the Atlantic Ocean on December 2, 2007 in Gansby, South Africa.
(Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Sandy areas with shells and other debris can hide small teeth that look like dark and shiny triangles; They can be the size of a fingertip.

The color of a shark tooth can tell you a lot about its origin.

Most fossilized teeth are black or brown in color, with some having red or green tints from minerals in the sediments, National Geographic also shared.

The upper jaw of the shark shows the teeth found in Madagascar.

The upper jaw of the shark shows the teeth found in Madagascar.
(Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Light-colored or white teeth usually mean teeth from a modern shark.

Shark teeth match the shark’s diet, so identifying the source is easy.

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For example, the serrated and curved teeth of a tiger shark can crack the shells of sea turtles – while the super-strong and sharp teeth of a great white are meant to crush seal bones.