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Megalodon: Megatooth Fossils Found at the Calvert Cliffs of Maryland

Megalodons are among the most sought after teeth in the Calvert cliffs and other nearby Miocene exposures. However, before you go looking for a huge megalodon from the cliffs, you should be warned most of the meg teeth are in the 1 - 3" class in these Miocene exposures. Although larger ones are often found, you have a better chance at finding the large ones in the younger Pliocene exposures further south in the Atlantic coastal plain.

Differentiating between C. megalodon and C. subauriculatus: Both the C. subauriculatus and C. megalodon species are found in the Calvert, Choptank, and St. Marys formations. The easiest way to distinguish these two species from one another are the cusps. C. megalodon have no cusps, while C. subauriculatus have small cusps. The only exception is juvenile megalodon teeth may have side cusps, in which case it is impossible to tell them apart.

So, you found a megalodon tooth.. Wouldn't you like to know how big the shark was that the tooth came from?
Click here for an easy way to find out!



Carcharocles subauriculatus

Identification based on Purdy et al (2001).
This species is thought to have evolved into C. megalodon. The only difference is the tiny cusplets
This species is only found in the early to middle Miocene.

Distinguishing the difference between small megalodons and subauriculatus can be tricky as juvenile megalodons can sometimes have cusps on their teeth. Therefore, some subauriculatus identified below could be juvenile megalodons.


The 1st megatooth shark I ever found!
Based on this tooth, the size of the shark it came from was probably around 21 feet in length.
Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Plum Pt., Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • 2.75" (70mm) slant height



    This is a chipped C. subauriculatus tooth. It was found on this trip.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Chesapeake Bay Area
    Size:
  • 2.25" (57mm) slant height



    This tooth was sticking halfway out of the sand and looked whole. I was devastated when I lifed it! Based on this tooth, the size of the shark it came from was probably around 40 feet in length.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Near Parkers Creek, Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • ~5 1/16" (129mm) slant height



    This is a labial view of a broken lower lateral tooth.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Plum Pt., Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • If complete, ~2 1/2" (63mm)



    This small fossil tooth was dug out of a chunk of fallen Zone 10 in the Calvert Formation.
    It appears to have some feeding damage on the tip.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Plum Pt., Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • 1 1/4" (30mm)




    Carcharocles megalodon

    Identification based on Purdy et al (2001).
    Obviously, this is the most famous prehistoric shark. It has the largest teeth, was twice the size of a Great White, and included whales in its diet!
    They lived from the Miocene and became extinct in the Pliocene.

    To learn all about the Megalodon shark, go to the Megalodon Facts page.



    Lingual and labial view of a nice looking lateral megalodon shark tooth.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Calvert Cliffs, Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • 2 3/8" (60mm) slant height



    Lingual and labial view of a nice looking lateral megalodon shark tooth.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Calvert Cliffs, Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • 2 3/8" (60mm) slant height



    The left tooth was found by snorkeling , The right one is a small but almost perfect anterior, except for the feeding damage on the tip.
    This was pulled out of a chunk of fallen zone 10 of the Calvert formation.

    Based on these teeth, the size of the sharks these teeth came from were probably around 15 feet in length.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Calvert Cliffs, Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • Both have a 1 7/8" (47mm)



    These are three small lateral megs. The left one is a labial view of a marble looking tooth. The right one is a lingual view and the left two are labial views
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Calvert Cliffs, Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • 1 3/8 & 1 5/8" (35 & 41mm)



    All 3 of these laterals were found on the same stretch of beach in less than an hour. The person I was collecting with found nothing and now hates me.
    The left one is in perfect condition.
    Formation:

  • Calvert, Plum Point member
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • Calvert Cliffs, Calvert Co., MD
    Size:
  • Complete one has a 1 5/8" slant (41mm)




    Get Your Very Own Megalodon Tooth:

    These are Authentic Megalodon teeth sold by Fossil Era , a reputable fossil dealer (that I personally know) who turned his fossil passion into a business. His Megalodon teeth come in all sizes and prices, from small and inexpensive to large muesum quality teeth. Each tooth has a detailed descriptions and images that include its collecting location and formation. If you are looking for a megalodon tooth, browse through these selections!




    Recommended Books for Shark Tooth Identification



    Fossil Shark Teeth of the World
    , A Collector's Guide
    by Joe Cocke, Copyright 2002

    A great book for identifying all those teeth. This book is laid out "as simple as possible." It's ease of use and small size makes it great to carry during collecting trips. This book shows teeth from around the globe, but all the Calvert teeth can be found in it.




    Fossil Sharks of the Chesapeake Bay Region
    , A Collector's Guide
    by Bretton W. Kent, Copyright 1994

    This is a classic for identifying all those teeth at the Calvert Cliffs. It's a must for any beginner collector that fossil hunts in the Maryland/Virginia area.
    Unfortunately, this book is out of print. There's used ones on amazon for super insane amounts of money, but SOMETIMES there is a used one available for a few bucks.



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