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Have you found a Shark Tooth yet?

Better to find one on the ground than in your leg! Even with a bite, there's no guarantee it will leave a shark tooth behind - and it won't be ancient like these are. Just come to Colonial Beach and find one (or more) of these fossils for yourself. This one's mine.

Fossil Shark Tooth

Westmoreland State Park offers regular fossil hikes and many people have found these gems of the prehistoric age. Check the events calendar for dates and times.

A small strainer can be helpful for finding these Miocene-era items. Scoop up some of the sandy soil at the water's edge and sift through the pebbles, beach glass, mollusk shells and other assorted pieces and soon you'll see what you came here for, a pointy triangular-shaped shark tooth. Hard to believe it is millions of years old!

In addition, you might also come across things like whale vertebra, dental plates from a stingray and crocodile teeth. The main event is a shark tooth, though. Teeth from sharks like mako, cow, sand, and tiger are the most common ones found in this area. Everyone would like to find one from a Megalodon, and once in awhile they are found in these parts. Some are the size of a human hand! It will be 1" tall for every 10 - 15' of body length. These supposed ancestors of today's Great White shark were commonly 60 feet long.

Why such a shark tooth abundance?

Remember, sharks have an unlimited supply of teeth, which are not set firmly in the jaws, but in the gums, where they appear in layered rows. If a tooth is lost, another one moves forward to take its place.

The Jaw of a Shark Showing Its Teeth

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During the Miocene age, this whole region was under a few hundred feet of seawater. When the waters receded, what used to be the ocean floor became the high clay cliffs that now tower above the shoreline. The modern tidal river flowed, carving all those fossils out and depositing them in the sand.

Shark Tooth Island is also a great place to find these items. You must call for a permit beforehand, though. The number to call is 804-450-3539 or 472-3416.

Happy hunting!!!

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