• "Celebrating the Richness of Paleontology through Fossil Hunting"

Sharktooth Hill Fossil Hunt

Sharktooth Hill Fossil Hunting Video:


Short Video of the Fossil Hunt at Sharktooth Hill before the conference


Fossil Friends Lee and Victor at Sharktooth Hill in Bakersfield.  We spent 2 days here fossil hunting before the 2019 NAPC conference.

Fossil Friends Lee and Victor at Sharktooth Hill in Bakersfield. We spent 2 days here fossil hunting before the 2019 NAPC conference.




Sharktooth Hill Fossil Hunt and Presenting at the 2019 NAPC Conference


The Fossil Project invited me to speak at a session at the North American Paleontological Convention in Riverside California. The NAPC is a paleontology conference that is hosted every 4 to 5 years. I'ts a week of everything Paleontology!

This time, The Fossil Project arranged for a few sessions of amateur paleontologists to discuss and highlight the importance of amateurs in the field of paleontology and also to discuss the goals and accomplishments of the Fossil Project. All of The Fossil Project sessions were wonderful and informative. It was also nice to meet new paleontologists and reconnect with past aquaintances.


The author on a discussion panel at at the 2019 NAPC Convention

The author on a discussion panel at at the 2019 NAPC Convention


The author speaking at at the 2019 NAPC Convention

The author speaking at at the 2019 NAPC Convention


Sharktooth Hill Fossil Hunt


Before attending the conference, I decided, with a few other friends, to go a couple days early and visit Ernst quarries in Bakersfield (Sharktooth Hill Area) for a chance at finding finding fossil shark teeth and other Miocene fossils from the Temblor formation.

The first day I mainly stuck to hunting the overturned bits of formation around Sharktooth hill. Last trip here this strategy worked very well and I found a bunch of fossils. This time, I couldn't find the correct spot in the formation and ended up with very little. The second day we all dug in the actual formation, which is a hard packed clay. One pries out a small section at a time and slowly breaks it apart. The fossils from the formation are VERY fragile until they dry out, so extra care must be taken no to break anything.

This strategy worked out great. We all found nice fossils. Lee and Victor both found nice C. hastalis and C. planus teeth as well as a nice sampling of other sharks in the area. I also found the standard shark teeth as well as the end section of a large baleen whale jaw. It took a while to excavate it, and it ended up crumbling apart, but it glued together nicely!

After the trip to Bakersfield we headed down to Riverside for the NAPC conference where we were all scheduled speak at The Fossil Project sessions. Finally, after the NAPC conference, I stayed for an extra few days and checkout out the museums in LA, including the La Brea Tar Pits, which is an amazing ongoing excavation!

A BIG thanks goes out to The Fossil Project for setting up the sessions, logistics, and inviting me out for the NAPC 2019!

For more information on Fossil Hunting at the Ernst Quarries and Sharktooth Hill in general, visit the Sharktooth Hill Page.


Images of the fossil hunt and the trip

Lee Cone holding a whale vertebra he just found at Sharktooth Hill.

Lee Cone holding a whale vertebra he just found at Sharktooth Hill.


Victor Perez holding a C. planus fossil shark tooth that he just found at Sharktooh Hill.

Victor Perez holding a C. planus fossil shark tooth that he just found at Sharktooh Hill.


A large C. hastalis fossil shark tooth that Lee found.

A large C. hastalis fossil shark tooth that Lee found.


A C. hastalis fossil shark tooth that I found at Sharktooth Hill.

A C. hastalis fossil shark tooth that I found at Sharktooth Hill.


A large C. hastalis shark tooth from the fossil dig.

A large C. hastalis shark tooth from the fossil dig.


Here is a C. planus fossil shark tooth found in the matrix.

Here is a C. planus fossil shark tooth found in the matrix.


Here is another large C. planus fossil shark tooth that Victor found in the matrix.

Here is another large C. planus fossil shark tooth that Victor found in the matrix.


This is the partial fossil baleen whale jaw in matrix.  It's hard to tell, but the fossil is shattered.

This is the partial fossil baleen whale jaw in matrix. It's hard to tell, but the fossil is shattered.


This is the lower partial baleen whale jaw once prepped.

This is the lower partial baleen whale jaw once prepped.


These are some smaller teeth.  They are mostly fossil Dogfish and Angel shark teeth.

These are some smaller teeth. They are mostly fossil Dogfish and Angel shark teeth.


Here is a sampling of some of the finds.  Most of the fossils are still in matrix, and will need to be removed once they dry out.

Here is a sampling of some of the finds. Most of the fossils are still in matrix, and will need to be removed once they dry out.





Recommended Books for California Geology


Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California, 2nd Edition
David Alt, Donald W. Hyndman

This roadside Geology series is a must for anyone that does road trips! This one gives a great, easy to understand, overviews of the Geology on Northern and Central California. This newer edition has full color maps, photos, and illustrations. There are GPS coordinates, locations, and explains all the geologic oddities you may drive by.




Gem Trails of Southern California
Otie Braden, 2017

This is the definitive guide to rock and mineral collecting sites in Southern California. It contains maps, descriptive texts, and both Color and black and white photos of 80 collecting sites. Plus, it's from 2017, so the sites are still there!




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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