Finding a Megalodon Tooth
Everyone wants to find fossil shark teeth and a Megalodon tooth would be at the top of everyone’s list for fossil shark tooth hunters. Why not? It was the apex shark predator which possessed big, wide serrated teeth that can reach 7” in length. This tooth would be a true center piece item for any shark tooth collection. Unfortunately, Megalodon teeth are one of the more difficult fossil shark teeth to self-collect even in the US which produces more Megalodon teeth than the rest of world combined. So you want to find a Megalodon tooth? The first rule for finding a Megalodon tooth, is to look where sediments of Miocene and Pliocene age formation are exposed, and these sediments must be marine in origin.
So, now we know the correct sediments to search for a Megalodon tooth, where are these sediments exposed. The Southeast US coastal region is the dominate area for these sediments to be exposed. California coastal region will have limited sediment exposure, but there are very few Megalodon found. I will discuss a few inland opportunities in these coastal regions as well. Please note that all of these areas are going to be limited to public access areas and collecting on or crossing private land without permission is prohibited. State parks and state beaches may prohibit fossil collecting. You will need to check with admissions officer or park guards and watch for postings.
Beaches, Waterways and Land Sites
The Southeast US coastal region has many beaches and other sites that produce fossil shark teeth including an occasional Megalodon tooth or partial Megalodon tooth. I will cover a few of the popular areas to look for fossil shark that will produce an occasional Megalodon tooth.
The northern end collectable area starts at the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. It is home of the famous Calvert Cliffs, known for its Miocene fossils, but all digging in the cliff is prohibited. A few public access areas include Calvert Cliffs State Park, Westmoreland State Park, and Flags Pond Nature Park. There may be others. There are beach rentals in areas like Plum Point which would provide beach access to where fossils are present. Ask before renting.
No. Carolina has fossil producing beaches and more. Beaches like Kure, Carolina, and Ocean Isle Beach will produce fossil shark teeth. One of my favorite spots is the PCS Phosphate Mine in the town of Aurora. The PCS Phosphate Mine was a premier fossil hunting opportunity with a good chance to find a highly sought after Lee Creek Megalodon tooth, but the mine has prohibited public access in 2008. Today, the Aurora Fossil Museum in Aurora is a great stop and well worth visiting. They have a great exhibit of fossil shark teeth and they maintain a pile fossil material from the mine which can be searched for free. You should always be able to find fossil shark teeth with an occasional Megalodon tooth or a tooth from one of its ancestors.
So. Carolina produces most of the commercial Megalodon teeth from their rivers. The best known beach opportunity is Myrtle Beach. The Summerville area offers good creek hunting opportunities and occasional good exposures at constructions sites. There are a number of fossil hunting services in the Charleston and Summerville areas and they would be great for a first time visit. Just Google Fossil hunting in South Carolina.
Florida offers a number of shark tooth hunting opportunities. Venice, Florida is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World” and they have multiple beaches in the area where fossil shark teeth will be found. The beach by the Venice pier has been very productive. Please note that the larger teeth like Megalodon will be most frequently found on the beach after a storm. Timing is everything. The second most popular destination is the Peace River. I would recommend using a fossil hunting service to improve your finds. There are a number of fossil hunting services available. Just Google Fossil hunting in Florida. What I did not mention was the famous phosphate mines in central Florida, where the highly collectable Bone Valley Meg teeth come from. Unfortunately, these mines have been closed to public access for 10+ years.
In California, the coastal deposits with fossil shark teeth are elusive. It takes a lot of local knowledge and access is limited. The famous Sharktooth Hill deposits are accessible near Bakersfield, California. I would recommend a commercial shark tooth digging site such as The Ernst Quarries who own part of the Sharktooth Hill bone bed. Here you will need to dig the Round Mountain silt layer to find fossil shark teeth. Digging will be somewhat strenuous if you want to find a Megalodon tooth. All equipment is provided. Ernst Quarries also offers “digs” limited to screening previously dug Round Mountain silt tailings. You could find a piece of a rare Sharktooth Hill Megalodon tooth. You never know.
Diving for Megalodon Teeth
If you are an experienced and certified diver, you may want to dive for Megalodon teeth. Most of the commercially produced Megalodon teeth come from the Southeast US rivers, and they are mostly found in So. Carolina and Georgia. I would recommend a commercial dive service for your first dive. Charter dives are available in So. Carolina, No. Carolina and Florida. The So. Carolina dives will introduce you to the challenging conditions that exist in the low country rivers including swift currents, very low visibility, and the occasional Bull shark or sting ray. Expect to find mostly worn and or partial teeth., but you will have the experience of finding your own Megalodon tooth. The North Carolina dive is rather new and it will take you to a site that is 40 miles offshore where Megalodon teeth sit on ocean bottom ledges at 100 feet deep! Florida dives will be much more pleasant with clear water and warm temperatures, but the quantity of bigger teeth may be less than other sites.
Wanting More Megalodon Teeth
If you are not satisfied with your Megalodon tooth fossil finds or you want to expand your Megalodon tooth collection with something new, please have a look at our website. Buried Treasure Fossils offers a wide range of Megalodon teeth for sale from around the world. Check out the quality of our teeth that come in a variety of colors and sizes.