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Fossi Hunting at the Calvert Cliffs of Maryland

Collecting along the frozen cliffs in December, 2005

Collecting along the frozen cliffs in December, 2005


Winter Lighthouse Fossil Hunting at the Calvert Cliffs

We had plans to visit Point Lookout lighthouse over the weekend with some friends. It is, of course, just miles from the Calvert Cliffs of MD. How could one resist being right next to those famous Miocene exposures and not collect? So, off to the lighthouse and collecting grounds we went. The plan on Saturday and Sunday morning was to collect along some cliff exposures during the low tides, and in the afternoon/evening go to the lighthouse.

Friday night, I checked over the tide, bay wind, and weather data for the bay. The tides were low, the wind was in our favor making for a potential blowout tide, and the temps were a little on the low side. On Saturday morning the temperature forecast was correct. The temps were brisk and the sun was hidden above a layer of overcast clouds, making it a bone-chilling day at the bay. However, that did not impede our progress. Thoughts of a blowout low tide danced through my head. I could envision fossils of all sorts, which would normally be hidden under the water of a normal tide, just exposed right there amongst the rocks and formation clays for our collecting enjoyment. What could be there, lying in wait, an articulated cetacean specimen? As we arrived at the beach, we all agreed, none of us had ever seen such a lower tide. It was a fine blowout tide, the winds were blowing in just the correct direction with just the correct speed. Unfortunately, instead of rocks and formation exposed, there was sand for 100’s of yards out into the bay. All fossils would be just a foot or so beneath the sand that had washed in. By the end of the first day, we all had a handful of small fossils, none of which were noteworthy.

On Sunday the winds changed direction; what was once an ultra-low blowout tide turned into a relatively high tide. We were hoping this would wash up more fossil material, but this was not so. Again, we left with very little finds.

Although our finds were limited, I did get a large (for my collection) dolphin tooth, and a few hemipristis serra shark teeth that may aid in my snaggletotoh shark dentition I’m trying to make. Anyhow, the trip was for the lighthouse, not fossil collecting, so I can’t complain. Heck, I never complain!


A blowout tide. Normally the low tide hits against the bluff.



Posing in the beacon room of the lighthouse.



Our finds of the trip.



Pauls finds of 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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