12 years ago, before I lived in the sunshine state, before I became a fossil-hunting tour guide, I called the Florida Museum of Natural History vertebrate paleontology dept. and asked a question- “Where can I go to find Megalodon teeth?” I remember being somewhat frustrated by what they told me me. I figured if I went straight to the experts I’d get the best answer. Their reply was the Jacksonville/St. John’s river area, Gainesville creeks, the Peace River and Venice Beach. What I was looking for was a lot more specific; what they had were generalities, so I felt like I got nowhere on my search for the big tooth.
They were right in that all those areas did/do produce Megalodon shark teeth; it was up to me to find the specific sites where I could find what I was looking for. Since at the time I didn’t dive, didn’t have a boat, and beach collecting was usually pretty slow, I was able to cross some of those sites off my list right away. The Peace River I came to find had the best combination of factors that would work for me- shallow water, relatively hazard-free, access was good, it wasn’t too far away and it had the fossils I was looking for. I did eventually find some great sites and great fossils after doing some scouting with a canoe and just wading in near boat ramps. Many of those sites did and still do produce Megalodon shark teeth regularly. I found that Meg teeth aren’t rare, there actually can be many of them in some locations, it was really just a matter of finding a specific site, which could sometimes be as small as a 6ft diameter circle.
That’s the main consideration with finding fossils, doing your homework and putting in the time to find a productive area to find what you’re looking for. I still spend lots of time scouting out new locations for our fossils hunting tours. Although I’ve checked lots of areas and waterways all over Florida, there are many more I’ve never visited.
Over time, I’ve learned that many other areas besides Florida have great locations to look for Megalodon teeth as well. I’ve found them in every state along the East coast of the US from NJ to Florida. In NJ, creeks are the most productive areas. In Maryland, the Calvert Cliffs area has some great fossils to find beachcombing. In Virginia and North Carolina, rivers, creeks and phosphate mines produce Megalodon teeth. Same for South Carolina and Georgia. Again, it’s the same story, do your homework, spend the time to thoroughly check the sites and you’ll usually do well. It does take some diligence and be prepared to come up empty more often than not. When you do find a good site it’ll all be worth it.
If all that sounds like a lot of time and effort, it is. That’s where we come in, we’ve done the homework and spent the time so you don’t have to. Come out on a tour- hope to see you on the river!
Our guided fossil hunting tours are arranged by reservation on weekends and weekdays all year. It helps both you and us to give at least a few days notice before booking your tour but don’t hesitate to give us a try the night before if need be. A deposit is not required. We generally are reaching areas by canoe with boats and equipment we supply but we also can do walk-in tours without a canoe. Please call (772) 539-7005 or email- fredmazza at paleodiscoveries dot com for more info or visit www.paleodiscoveries.com or http://fossilhuntingtours.com