• "Celebrating the Richness of Paleontology through Fossil Hunting"
  • Chesapeake Bay Area Fossil Shark Tooth Hunt

    Fossil Hunting along the Calvert Cliffs area for Fossil Shark Teeth


Calvert Cliffs Fossil Trip

Fall Calvert Cliffs Area Fossil Trip - 2012

Potomac River - Aquia Formation - Paleocene Fossils
and
Calvert Cliffs of Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay - Miocene Fossils


This is a short video of the fossil Shark tooth hunt along the Miocene Calvert formation



Jet skiing to the Calvert Formation - It's the fastest way

Jet skiing to the Calvert Formation - It's the fastest way


Fall Calvert Cliffs Area Fossil Trip Report

I usually do a fossil set up at the Nanjemoy Heritage Festival each fall. It's a nice place to do a set up since it's close to some Potomac fossil hunting spots, as well as the Chesapeake Bay fossil spots. I usually make a weekend out of it, and fossil collect at a few locations.

This year I decided to try the Paleocene Aquia formation along the Potomac river, and then head to the Calvert Cliffs area for Miocene fossil shark teeth. Since most of the fossil spots are surrounded by private property, the best/only way to get to many of them is a boat.



The Paleocene Potomac:

The Paleocene Fossil Cliffs along the Potomac River

Waves were hitting against the Paleocene Cliffs. The beach areas were far and few between.



After checking the tide charts, I decided to first go the Aquia formation and collect before the Nanjemoy festival began. Although I arrived at low tide, the area was mostly submerged. I often found myself in knee to waist deep water. Only a few tiny spots of beach were dotting the cliffs. As a result, I didn't find much in the way of fossil shark teeth. However, I managed to find a fragment of Indian pottery.



Below are the fossil found from the Aquia Formation


The paleocene Shark Teeth Fossils found along the potomac river

These are the fossils found from the potomac river - paleocene. Also there is a Native American pottery fragment pictured here.


The Calvert Cliffs


The Calvert Cliffs which contain miocene fossil shark teeth

View of the Calvert Cliffs, a Miocene Fossil Exposure



After the disappointing trip to the Paleocene fossil spot, I set up at the festival and had lots of kids look through the reject material from the PCS Mine in Aurora, NC. (See the Aurora page). Once the festival was over, I packed up and headed to a campsite for the evening and weathered through a storm. The next morning, I launched the Jet Ski and headed toward the Miocene Calvert Formation to fossil hunt. This time the tides were MUCH better, as the water was low and there was plenty of beach and gravel to scour. All in all, the fossils were far and few between. This was expected as the cliffs get hit hard by fossil collectors nowadays. I did manage to find a 2 1/4" megalodon with damage to the tip, a pristine 1 7/8" mako that is razor sharp, a beautifully preserved crocodile tooth (it was only 1") , and a few big snaggletooth shark teeth. Overall, I didn't do too bad. It's been a few trips since I have found ANY megalodons, so even a small 2" class megalodon was nice to find.



Below are the fossils found from the Calvert Formation


The Miocene Shark Teeth Fossil found at the Calvert Cliffs

The Miocene Shark Teeth Fossil found at the Calvert Cliffs




Additional Images and Fossils Found


The fossil pile at the 2012 Nenjemoy Heritage Festival. Here, future paleontologists search for long dead beasts.



Some female Bald Eagles at play. This was taken with a point and shoot camera, so the quality isn't too great!



Here's another picture of the Eagles. They seem to be getting more common in the Chesapeake Bay area



This is a Southeastern Five-lined Skink (a.k.a. Eastern Five-striped Skink / Common Five-lined Skink ) clinging onto the Aquia formation. He's probably also thinking 'Why is the water so high??'



Here are some of the larger shark teeth fossils that were found at the Calvert formation



This is the megalodon fossil (Carcharocles subauriculatus) as it was found washing in the waves at the Calvert formation.



This megatooth shark fossil once cleaned up. It has a 2 1/4" slant height.



This is the larger Extinct White shark tooth fossil that was found at the Calvert formation



These are a few larger Hemepristis serra (Snaggletooth) Shark teeth fossils that were found at the Chesapeake Bay area. The largest is 1 3/4"



This is the crocodile tooth fossil as found at the Calvert formation. It's only an inch in height, but is beautifully preserved.



This is the crocodile tooth fossil from the Calvert formation. It's only an inch in height, but is beautifully preserved



This is the larger Extinct White shark tooth fossil that was found at the Calvert formation



This is the Native American pottery fragment found along the banks of the Potomac River. This fragment, although small, is interesting in that they mixed the clay with crushed quartz to strengthen the pottery. Usually they harden it with sand.





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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