At the Chesapeake Bay the Calvert Cliffs are located. Here several sediments from the lower to middle Miocene are exposed. The sediments are part of the Chesapeake Group, and consist of the Calvert, Choptank, and St. Mary formations. The Calvert formation is exposed at Randle Cliffs in the north, the Choptank formation in the middle, and the St. Mary formation in the south at Cove Point. The further south, the youngher the deposits.
The beach is often quite narrow, and collecting is only possible at low tide. Watch the tides! Also, dont go to close to the unstable cliffs. There are often rockfalls.
In Solomons, south of the cliff area, is the small Calvert Marine museum. Here you can see the fossil collection. They also organise fossil excursions in the area.
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This area is known as the Willows. To enter, you must either live in the community, or have a family member or friend that lives there. No current fees.
Added by: almach on 04-09-2018
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The Calvert cliffs are located southeast of Washington, in the state Maryland at the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The Calvert Cliffs are approximately 35 kilometres long, and stretch from the Chesapeake Bay to Drum Point at the Maryland west coast. At several locations it is possible to access the beach and look for fossils in the gravel. You can also use a sieve to find fossils. In this case you should bring a sieve and shovel. At some sites it is not allowed to look for fossils in the cliffs, and at some sites there is paid access.
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Fossils like shark teeth (i.e.C. megalodon) and fish remains are common. Various sea mammals, crocodile, and tutles have also been found. Evene land mammals were found. From this site, more than 600 specis of plants and animals are known.
There are 61 photographs of fossils from this location in our Fossil ID System.
Go to the MD Calvert Cliffs Species List to identify your own finds!
Literature recommended by members
- Brenton W. Kent, 1994: Fossil Sharks of the Chesapeake Bay Region
11 Sections & 5 appendix sections. 146 pages.
This book is only about sharks, contains drawings of shark teeth and dentition drawings of them.
- G.W. Andrews, 1976: Miocene Marine Diatoms From the Choptank Formation, Calvert County, Maryland
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PROFESSIONAL PAPER 910
- Godfrey, S.J. (ed), 2018: The Geology and Vertebrate Paleontology of Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, USA
Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, number 100. iv + 274 pages.
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Other locations in the area
Fossil location: Aquasco
Museum: Calvert Marine museum
Everybody using the fossil collecting location descriptions from this site has to respect the Collecting Code!
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