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FOSSILS FOUND ON OUR BEACH
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Fossils of the Bay


If you are interested in fossils of the Chesapeake Bay - we strongly recommend that you visit the Calvert Marine Museum located in Solomon's Island, just 14 miles south of our home.  You will discover a wealth of information about the very fossils you will find on our shores at the Museum.  


Fossils are the remains of ancient life, which are preserved for millions of years. They can be found potentially everywhere. In someone’s backyard, on a beach shoreline or high up in the Rocky Mountains - all the same they are still fossils. Fossils found along the Chesapeake Bay and on our beach are mostly from the Miocene era, (19 to 24 million years ago). These fossils are much younger than the dinosaurs, which became extinct sixty million years age. They are much older than man who first walked the Earth a couple of million years ago.


There have been over 400 shells identified in the Calvert Cliff formations located directly near our property on the Bay. Of those 400, only 44 percent still live in the Chesapeake Bay. The scallop shell is one of the oldest and most decorative shells found along the shoreline of the Bay. These shells can vary in size between the smallest compared to the size of a dime; to some of the largest being 10 inches long.  

 

Shark Teeth


The shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay is filled with all different kinds of shark’s teeth. Fossil records indicate that some of the first sharks lived some 300 million years ago. It is estimated that modern sharks had evolved between 70 million to 100 million years ago. Sharks are known for their speed and maneuverability in the water. Most species can swim at speeds of 20 to 30 (32 to 48 kilometers) miles per hour. Sharks are among the oldest living water creatures, and they have remained essentially the same since the modern sharks first appeared.


Shark teeth are among the hardest of all organic materials, highly resistant to destruction by weather or wave action. Therefore you can find many washed up by waves on the shoreline of the Bay. (Look for something black and triangular). They vary in size, from barely visible to teeth 5 inches long - teeth of the great white shark. Sharks have an unlimited supply of teeth, which are formed in layered rows. These teeth are not set firmly in the jaws, but are positioned in the gums. No cavities, permanently missing teeth, or tooth-aches for a shark! If a tooth is lost it is quickly replaced by another. Any shark has numerous amount of teeth loss by the time is reaches adulthood. Don't be alarmed by the numerous teeth you find- remember these are about twenty million years old!


Paleontologist discovered that many of the whale bones had scratches and scars by teeth of sharks. It would appear that Miocene sharks were attracted to the Chesapeake Bay by the young whales that made easy prey.