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Finding a Squalodon Skull along the Calvert Cliffs

This is the excavated and jacketed squalodon skull ready to be moved to the Calvert Marine Museum.

This is the excavated and jacketed squalodon skull ready to be moved to the Calvert Marine Museum.


3 Days at the Calvert Cliffs and a Squalodon Skull

I haven't collected much this year, so I was anxious to get down to the Calvert Cliffs. I was to meat Paul of CHAPTours fossil tours and Ditchweezil from former Blackriver Fossils. I headed down a few days before they arrived to do some collecting on my own.

DAY 1
The first spot I hit was along the Potomac river. I was looking for those elusive otodus from the Aquia formation, and ended up finding a few small ones... better than nothing!

DAY 2
After hitting the stinky/slimy Potomac, I made a bee line toward the Calvert Cliffs with visions of megalodons, winning lotto tickets, and sugar plum fairies (All equally elusive).

I decided to do a massive beach comb along the Choptank formation. I covered a little over 10 miles looking for fossils. I didn't find much, but the walk had some nice scenery and it was worth the exercise.

After returning and recuperating from my walk, I noticed the days 2nd low tide was fast approaching. I quickly went back to Brownies beach, as this beach is always run to collect at. This time I found a really nice mako, a hair under 2", with absolutely beautiful coloration. Although it wasn’t a meg, it quenched my fossil appetite for a brief time.

DAY 3 - The Squalodon Skull
This was the day to meet Ditchweezil and go diving. Paul was to show him around the cliffs area, in which he did a very good job. We first hit a private spot. Here, we all almost got killed when part of the cliffs collapsed on us! Luckily we all escaped into the water fast enough (This is why you should keep your distance from the cliffs, and stay near the water). Ditchweezil talks of gators in SC, but I think these cliffs in MD are more dangerous.

Ditchweezil found a small meg with just a little tip damage, and Paul found a perfect 2.75" meg. We then briefly hit a spot to view the formation that we were to look for underwater while diving. After that we dove! Unfortunately, the dive spot was not that productive. There was just too much sand washed nearshore at this area. I ended up finding a little chipped up meg, Ditchweezil found some kind of big beat up thresher tooth, and his dad found a very nice rear of a juvenile whale skull.

After the dive, the SC hunters headed off. Paul and I ended up hitting a private spot along the cliffs. There, I spied a few bones barely sticking out of the cliffs. After inspecting the bones, we both concluded it was part of a skull that had just started to erode out of the cliffs. We obtained the GPS coordinates and quickly hid the barely sticking out bones with mud (to keep hackers at bay). I then emailed Stephen Godfrey from the CMM about the discovery. Him and Bill Counterman soon went to the spot and excavated the skull. It turned out to be a Squalodon skull!!! No teeth, and the front of the snout is broken off, and there is no jaw... But for a squalodon skull, which is very rare, that's still pretty good! It's always nice to find a specimen worthwile of a muesum excavation. In fact, most of the specimens excavated by the museum are found by amateur fossil hunters!

Below are pictures of the trip and the fossils



Here are the bones sticking out of the cliffs when I found the skull. The dime is obviously for scale! Look closely, just below the dime and also just to the upper right of the dime are parts of the squamosal (rear of skull) sticking out.
It's barely sticking out, but to a trained eye, this is a skull!



Here, Bill is digging around the Squalodon skull that I found at the Calvert Cliffs.



Paul is posing with the skull as it awaits preperation at the Calvert Marine Museum. It has since been prepared and is in fact a Squalodon skull. It's missing the lower jaws, the teeth, and the front of the snout.



Here's a pic of a little beat up vert I prepped still in matrix.



Some of the fossils found during the Potomac River and Calvert Cliffs fossil trip.



Here are some more fossils found at the Calvert Cliffs from the trip.




Recommended Books and Fossils:





Shark Tooth Hunting on the Carolina Coast
By: Ashley Oliphant, 2015
A guide on how to find and identify fossil shark teeth on the North and South Carolina beaches. It also has an easy to use section for shark teeth identification. If you want to find shark teeth in the Carolinas, read this book first!




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!


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