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Found 375 results

  1. My kids and I have had a very successful year, so far, collecting a ton of Miocene fossils from the Calvert Cliffs. Along with some larger shark teeth, cetacean bones, etc., we accumulated a couple of containers full of smaller and broken teeth, ray plate pieces, unidentifiable bone fragments, and the like. After some discussion, my boys and I agreed it would be great if we could donate many of these "excess" finds to the Calvert Marine Museum to support their youth educational programs. This is actually where my kids and I first learned about fossil collecting from the Calvert Cliffs ourselves some years ago, and where the kids were able to search for (and take home) their first fossils from a simulated beach in the museum's "Discovery Room." We knew somebody must have donated those fossils, so maybe the museum would like to have ours. It could be a great opportunity to give back to the museum--and clear some counter space at home. So I sent a blind email to the museum's main address with our offer and shortly thereafter heard back from Dr. Stephen Godfrey, Curator of Paleontology. Although the Discovery Room was temporarily closed due to COVID, he said the museum was still giving out fossils in other educational programs and would love to accept a fossil donation from the boys. We were welcome to mail it in (boring), or bring it in in person (fun). Well, my boys had a scheduled day off from school last Friday, so we decided to take advantage and drive down to the museum with our donations. (Sadly, my daughter DID have school and couldn't join us.) Altogether, we brought down probably 500+ teeth, plates, bone pieces, coral fragments--including a bunch of teeth over 1/2"--the kind of stuff that a new kid would be thrilled to take home. When we got to the museum, Stephen came over from his offices and met us in a conference room to accept the goods. We sat down to do some paperwork (yes-paperwork!) and talk about what we had been collecting and, especially, the boys' best finds. Stephen seemed really impressed with the boys' willingness to give up some great stuff. I was proud of them for doing it. Well, after the transfer was done, Stephen offered to show us around the museum a bit. Of course, we jumped at the chance for a personal tour from the head curator. So off we went through the Paleontology wing into the fossil prep lab. There we met one of the volunteer preparators cleaning up a porpoise skull and we got a chance to see all of the prep tools and learn some prep techniques. Stephen showed us a bunch of fossils in the preparation process, including a jacketed baleen whale skull they had collected just a few weeks ago. He also showed us a mostly complete turtle carapace, some great vertebrae, and a lot of other cool skeletal material. We got to ask a lot of questions and learned a ton. Next, Stephen invited us to join him in the adjacent building to check out the fossil repository, not open to the public--or the way the boys and I thought of it--the inner sanctum! In this space there were movable shelves filled with boxes of cataloged fossils for long-term storage. But laid out in front were a few tables loaded with fossils that had recently come in and had yet to be processed. Stephen talked us through a bunch of these, including some pathological bones, a partly crystal-covered meg tooth, casts of a bear-dog jaw, a white shark tooth made into an Indian point, and--the highlight for me--a miocene rhino horn found at the cliffs. It was incredible what we saw in there! After getting our visual and tactile fill, we thanked Stephen for spending so much time with us --over an hour--and let him get back to his work. I know some on the forum know Stephen well, so this won't be news to them, but he is an incredibly knowledgeable and friendly person. It was great to meet him and learn so much from him. Back at the museum, we checked out all the fossil exhibits we had seen many times before. But what made this time different is that we ourselves had collected some of the kinds of stuff we were looking at in the displays. It was really cool to hear the boys say--"Hey, I have one of those," or "Dad, that's like the one you found." Having collected ourselves, the exhibit was so much more relatable--and also inspiring in all the things still out there to find. And, just to close the loop, on the way out, the boys stopped at the kids' fossil education table and there on the sign it said, plain as day, "1 fossil bag per child." So it was great for the boys to see that their donations would go to keep that table going and end up in some little kids' fossil baggie to take home themselves--and maybe start the cycle all over again. I hope you enjoy the pix! (P.S. The pix are posted with Stephen's permission, so no worries about that.)
  2. ID help on Shark Tooth

    I thought at first it might have been a small lower hemi but the more I looked at pictures, it also looked like it could be a symphyseal tooth. It is hard to see in the pictures but there are faint serrations on the tooth closer to the root. This was found near the Scientist Cliffs area of Calvert Cliffs. Thank you in advance!
  3. My daughter had off from "school" Wednesday, so we took advantage of the opportunity and perfect weather to hit the cliffs for a few hours. After several days of rough water and winds, the Bay was calm with a favorable tide and pretty empty of boat traffic as you'd expect on a weekday. Arriving around 11:00 a.m., still a few hours before low tide, we thought we had the place to ourselves. But we soon came across the fresh boot prints of another collector who had already been through looking for the low-hanging fruit at the high tide line. A little disappointed, but undeterred, we went about our searching business knowing we would just have to work a little bit harder. The receding tide was dropping off some decent hemis, here and there, with the occasional tiger thrown in, but nothing huge. Rolling over clay chunks finally paid off, though, with a beautiful mako (or c. hastalis?) which was pristine and looked like it just came out of the cliffs. As we continued on, we picked away here and there in the wash zone, but found nothing else remarkable. Kind of at the end of the beach, I told my daughter we needed to wade over to one last little area that is usually hard to get to, but where I've found a few great teeth before...
  4. Stormy Shark Tooth Hunt

    I've had this weekend marked on my calendar for a few weeks to take advantage of favorable projected tides by going shark tooth hunting at Matoaka! The remnants of Hurricane Sally scrambled that forecast, bringing high winds and surf to Maryland, but I decided to head down this morning anyway. When I arrived, the sky was fairly clear, but there was a strong, steady wind generating a constant stream of waves, and the tide was well above normal, leaving only a narrow strip of beach. The beach opened up a little bit after I walked and waded north but the storm had dumped a layer of fresh sand and there were almost no exposed shell beds. I searched for an hour before I found my first fossil of any note (a cetacean epiphysis). Then, shortly after that, I found my first shark tooth. It was worth the wait--a nice Carcharodon hastalis up near the high tide line! About a half hour later, I found a pristine Galeocerdo aduncus tooth at the water line. The serrations are still super sharp on this one.
  5. Miocene Shark Tooth ID? - I'm stumped!

    Hey Guys! I've been going through some of our Calvert Cliffs summer finds and came across this one that I can't ID. It looks like it has a couple of teensy cusplets, which is probably a useful clue for somebody who actually knows their stuff. Any ideas?
  6. I have here a 3" piece of bone, found in Calvert Cliffs, Maryland. I'm not well-versed enough with these to narrow it down further from marine mammal, and am hoping that these photographs contain some identifying features that may be useful to one more familiar with these. Can it be narrowed down any further?
  7. We were able to get out to visit the Calvert Cliffs area over the weekend and enjoy the nice weather and lower tides. We were able to take the kayaks out, water was a bit choppy on the way out but as time passed the wind calmed down quite a bit for the return trip. After beaching my kayak, within a few feet of it, I found a very small chub (first for me) and in great condition! Within a few more minutes I spotted the small shark vert rolling in the surf and knew it was a good day already. After some more searching, my wife found the biggest of the mako's pictured. We were also able to find three mostly complete Ecphora as well and some other smaller teeth. We didn't think we would beat the chub and mako this trip, but towards the end of our trip walking back to our kayaks I spotted a tiny black speck while surface scanning, I picked it up and had seen similar teeth posted here and in other groups and new exactly what it was. Was super ecstatic to have found my first symphyseal, cow shark upper. One to check off the bucket list for sure. Below are some pics from the day. In the process of getting a macro lens, sorry about the low quality on some of the up close pics. Also found the black flat bone fragment I wasn't sure what it was, so any insight would be appreciated!
  8. Dear Fossil Forum Members, My friend recently found this bone-looking piece on the beach near the St Marys formation at Calvert Cliffs. We have heard that many of the bones washing up are fragments of whale or dolphin bones. Since this piece is so big, we are thinking its some sort of whale bone. Could anyone please help verify this? Sorry there are no proper forms of measurement, for reference the piece is roughy 4.5in (11.5cm) wide and 6.5in (17cm) long. Here are some photos:
  9. What kinds of makos are these?

    The three shark teeth below are all from the Calvert Cliffs (Miocene) in Maryland. I have the two on the left (A. and B.) tentatively identified as Isurus desori, but I'm still learning my mako IDs, including the differences between true makos and Carcharodon hastalis. Hopefully these are identifiable despite their root conditions. I don't know if the tooth on the right (C.) is identifiable or not. Thanks in advance for any help!
  10. I found my first megatooth today! This was found in Calvert Cliffs Maryland, on my second kayaking trip down the Calvert formation. My and my friend visited beaches as we kayaked from Chesapeake Beach to Breezy Point and back. I found this tooth about half way down. Unfortunately this will be my last trip down Calvert Cliffs for a long time, so I am very happy I found this! I believe this is Carcharocles Subauriculatus, could anyone verify this?
  11. I have been looking into Maryland fossil sites, and am trying to plan a day trip, but I realize it is Labor day weekend, which can complicate things. How busy do the usual fossil beaches get in Maryland? I currently have Purse, Matoaka, and Calvert Cliffs on my list Should I just wait til next weekend? When is the best time to hit the beaches? I am especially looking for a Ecphora gardnerae, if there are any sites which would be better to focus my search at? Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!
  12. Got back out with my kids a couple of times last week to the Calvert Cliffs for some crabbing and fossil hunting. The tides were really low so there was a lot more beach exposed than I've seen in awhile. We were primed for some nice finds and weren't disappointed! There was so much shell line and tidal bottom exposed, though, it was almost hard to pick where we wanted to search. Everywhere looked good! Anyway, we combed the prime areas as best we could and ended up with some really great teeth, verts, and a bunch of nice rib fragments for some reason. Teeth highlights were a really sweet giant white (C. Plicatilis) tooth -- I think -- a couple of cow shark teeth, and, of course, some great hemipristis for the Hemihunter! We picked up a couple of cool fish verts, too, but I could use help with ID on these--neither are tuna, I don't think. Also, what I thought at first was just another piece of ray plate (ho hum) turned out to be a chunk of ray barb, which I have never found before. I was glad my spidey sense told me to take a closer look at that one. We also pulled a few cetacean verts out of the tidal rubble, one still with some process attached, which was neat. Rolling over some clay chunks in search of hiding teeth paid off when we uncovered half of what must have been a beefy 3" meg--before it got weathered to heck. Still, it was half a meg! Finally, we collected another little mystery (to me) tooth with a small cusp and a really fat, triangular root. Any ideas on what that one is would be appreciated. Oh, we also came across a 6" blue crab that had just shed minutes before. It was so soft it couldn't even hold up a claw out of the water and felt like jello. Well, we brought that guy home, floured and fried him up whole, and sprinkled on some Old Bay. Delicious! I pulled together our best finds below. Enjoy the pics!
  13. I had Friday off and decided to head out to Matoaka Beach to do some shark tooth hunting along the Calvert Cliffs. I arrived bright and early and soon came across a decent-sized Hemi. Unfortunately, it was incomplete: missing one side of the root, some serrations, and part of the blade. That turned out to be the theme of the morning as I continued to find several other partial Hemis on the beach. When I finally found a complete tooth, it was in the 0.5- to 0.75-inch range, which is typically the size I find here. While I’ve found several tantalizing bits of larger Hemis at Matoaka, the largest complete tooth was under an inch. Still, finding even smaller and broken teeth is fun, and I had the beach mostly to myself with favorable tides. So, I kept going. And then, in a few inches of water, I saw what looked like a tooth. I definitely haven’t mastered the art of spotting submerged shark teeth. I’m used to my underwater “finds” being shells, rocks, leaves, twigs, and chunks of clay. But I reached down anyway. And I pulled up what is by far the largest Hemi I’ve found to date, measuring 1.28 inches along the slant and 1.22 inches wide—a complete and beautiful tooth! After a long day of fossil hunting, I had a few other nice finds too, but the Hemi was my trip maker. On my way out, I found one last broken tooth, which would have been a real monster, possibly in the 1.5-inch range. Maybe next time, I’ll find one of those intact too!
  14. Small posterior megs?

    I found these two shark teeth recently on separate hunts along the Calvert Cliffs in Maryland (Miocene exposures). I believe they're both small posterior megalodon teeth, which would make them my first found megs (aside from a previous small sliver of a tooth). They're both just over 2/3 of an inch slant height and clearly have some wear, though hopefully there are enough identifiable features here. The tooth on the right appears to have a thin bourlette; it's harder to see on the left, but I think there's one there as well. Both teeth have faint serrations, which you can see in the upper left photos of the more detailed views. Do these look like megs to you? More views of the tooth on the left: More views of the tooth on the right:
  15. Got out this week with my kids for several hours on Calvert Cliffs to see what we could find, dodging all the storms. Unfavorable windy conditions and a lot of sand brought in by the tropical storm made for tough searching on the beach, but we had good success working some of the larger fall piles. We're finding that these fall blocks hold a lot of bones that most other casual collectors overlook, even on heavily worked beaches. And we are getting better at spotting them and getting them out (mostly) intact. The big pieces closest to the water and wave action are always eroding out something interesting, especially way down low, and they are farther from the cliffs, so relatively safer to spend some time on. Here are the nicer finds, including a piece of porpoise (?) rib I was able to reassemble from pieces and an unidentified bone that I still need to fix up. The highlight for me was a really nice lower anterior mako (I. retroflexus ). I'm not sure, but I think it is pretty big for one of these anteriors. I spotted the root just exposed in a small rain runoff channel cut through the beach by the storm. I told myself something good HAD to be in one of those cuts. Looking and looking finally paid off! No megs, but still some good stuff. Enjoy the pics!
  16. I found this shark tooth a few weeks ago along the Calvert Cliffs (Miocene exposure) in Maryland and categorized it as Carcharodon hastalis. Looking at it again, I think it's perhaps Isurus desori. However, while I know C. hastalis can sometimes have cusplets, I'm not sure if that's true for I. desori. What do you think? Was my C. hastalis ID correct or would you label this one I. desori or something else? Whatever you think the correct ID is, if you could help point me to what you see as the defining characteristics, that would be great as well. Thank you!
  17. Hi All! I'm camping in the Chesapeake area of Southern Maryland and am trying to plan out a little Calvert Cliffs trip. It seems like COVID has closed off almost all the access points to the Cliffs except for Matoaka and Calvert Cliffs State Park--a bummer, but I'm new to this so it will take very little to make me happy... Should I take my kayak? I've never been to either location but saw that the hike from parking to the beach area at the state park is 1.8 miles, so I'd hate to get the kayak all the way down there and find out I didn't need it after all. Any general advice would be most welcome too. Thanks!
  18. Very worn cow shark tooth?

    I found this small fossil along the Calvert Cliffs (Miocene exposure) in Maryland. My first thought was a jaw bone with teeth, but my working hypothesis now is that it's a very worn cow shark tooth (Notorynchus sp.). What do you think?
  19. Mako tooth?

    I found this along the Calvert Cliffs (Miocene exposure) in Maryland. The root shape doesn't look right to me for Carcharodon hastalis, though I could be wrong on that. Is it perhaps an Isurus desori?
  20. Fossil ID from Calvert Cliffs trip

    This is the first time I’m posting for help with an i.d., and I have to say that getting good pics is harder than I thought! On June 1st, I found this fossil at Calvert Cliffs State Park while “panning” in the surf, and I can’t identify it. It doesn’t have the root like a shark’s tooth, is far more conical in shape, but it has the serrated edge. Would love some input. thanks!
  21. I’ve recently bought some fossil shark teeth online to expand my collection beyond the local Maryland fauna (Miocene from the Calvert Cliffs and Paleocene from the Potomac River/Aquia Formation), and it occurred to me that perhaps there are some forum members who would be interested in sharing some of your finds or extras in exchange for mine. The things I have to offer are shown below—mostly fossil shark teeth and a few other things. These aren’t all perfect, but there’s a good variety, including some less common species. I’ve collected most of these myself and have also listed a few purchased teeth for trade. If there’s something that interests you, hopefully we can help each other build out our respective collections. I have particular interest in adding Ptychodus sp. and Cretodus sp. teeth from the Cretaceous to my collection, but I’m open to a broad range of offers. U.S. trades are likely easiest for shipping, but I’m happy to consider international offers too. Thanks for looking! Quick summary of shark teeth available for trade by species (also see photos below): Miocene from Calvert Cliffs - Alopias latidens (2), Carcharhinus sp. (5+), Carcharodon hastalis (1), Galeocerdo aduncus (2), Hemipristis serra (4), Negaprion eurybathrodono (5), Notorynchus cepedianus (1), and Physogaleus contortus (4) Paleocene from Potomac River/Aquia Formation - Anomotodon novus (2), Cretalamna appendiculata (2), Palaeohypotodus rutoti (3), Paraorthacodus clarkii (1), Striatolamia striata (4+), and unidentified sand tigers (4+) Miocene-Pliocene from Purchases - Carcharocles megalodon (1), Carcharodon hastalis (2) I. Shark Teeth Available for Trade A. Miocene shark teeth from the Calvert Cliffs (unless otherwise noted): Alopias latidens (thresher shark) - both pending Carcharhinus sp. (gray sharks) – I also have others available. The tooth on the far right is from a Miocene exposure in Virginia (Westmoreland State Park). Carcharodon hastalis (white shark, predecessor to the great white) Galeocerdo aduncus (tiger shark) – The smaller tooth on the right is from a Miocene exposure in Virginia (Westmoreland State Park). Hemipristis serra (snaggletooth shark) - tooth A is pending Negaprion eurybathrodono (lemon shark) Notorynchus cepedianus? (sevengill cow shark) – This is most likely N. cepedianus though it’s a partial so I don’t know if it can be definitively ID’ed. Physogaleus contortus (tiger-like shark) B. Paleocene shark teeth from the Potomac River/Aquia Formation: ** I’ve done my best to identify the various sand tiger shark teeth below, but I may have made some mistakes. Anomotodon novus (goblin shark) - both are pending (though I also have others) Cretalamna appendiculata (mackerel shark) - tooth B is pending Palaeohypotodus rutoti (sand tiger shark) – I am pretty sure these are all P. rutoti due to the presence of basio-labial folds (see this elasmo.com page), but I could be wrong. Paraorthacodus clarkii (no common name shark) - tooth is pending Striatolamia striata (sand tiger shark) – I have others available too. - teeth A and D are pending Other non-striated sand tiger shark teeth – I’m unsure of the species on these; some may be Hypotodus verticalis. I have others available too. - tooth C is pending C. Purchased shark teeth available for trade: Carcharocles megalodon – This tooth was collected by a diver from the St. John’s River in Florida and measures a little over 2.75” slant height. I believe these are both Carcharodon hastalis – They are from an estate sale and their original collection location is unknown. They measure 1.7” and 1.2” slant height, respectively. II. Other Fossils Available for Trade A. Miocene from the Calvert Cliffs: Ecphora gardnerae? (gastropod) – If this is E. gardnerae, it’s also Maryland’s state fossil. Drum fish teeth Ray crushing plate fragments – The two v-shaped ones on the left are Aetomylaeus sp. and the other two may be as well. I have others available too. - plate B is pending Fossil corral – I believe these are Astrhelia palmata. I have others available too. Fossil sand dollar fragments – I have others available too. B. Paleocene from the Potomac River/Aquia Formation: Ray crushing plate fragments – I have others available too. Turritella sp. steinkerns/casts – I have others available too.
  22. Teeth/Bone ID

    Hello! Last time I was here I posted about 50 pieces of barnacle which I thought were teeth. Good news is, this time I actually have teeth! I sent these in to another fossil ID place, and they identified a few of my teeth as possible lemon shark, and the 8th from the left as a possible C. hastalis. If anyone can help identify more specifically what sharks the teeth came from I'd really appreciate it!! Also, the big brown fragment on the far right in these pictures they identified as some kind of bone fragment- maybe it's a long shot but do any of you know what it could have come from??? I'm really curious about that one now. (Ignore the second and third from the right. They aren't interesting.) I can post more pics if needed.
  23. Mammal Tooth from Calvert Cliffs

    I found the tooth below on a beach along the Calvert Cliffs (Miocene exposure) in Maryland this morning. Any idea what it came from? It looks like some kind of mammal tooth to me though it's missing the root. I'm not sure whether it's a fossil or modern. Thanks!
  24. Miocene whale jaw or rib?

    I posted in a trip report a few weeks ago that one of my boys found two big fragments--including the joint--of whale jaw in a cliff fall from Calvert cliffs. The assumption of jaw was based on what seemed like a good comparison to a jaw on fossilguy.com plus overall shape. But a commenter suggests that the joint is maybe not flat enough to be from a mandible and that this could really be a rib. So I'm looking for any second opinions. We would really like to get a proper ID, especially as my son wants to fill in the missing segment and make a single piece out of the two pieces for display. Because of the way they came out of the fall, although they were with each other, we aren't 100% sure of what the orientation of the two pieces ought to be with respect to one another. I have put the two pieces in a few different configurations just to show what each might look like. Having a proper ID would really help. Any whale experts, please have a look and let me know what you think.
  25. Is this a ray barb fragment?

    Is this fossil from the Calvert Cliffs a ray barb fragment, or something else entirely? It measures 1/3 of an inch as far as it's size goes. Thanks for any suggestions regarding it's identity.
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