The Only Known Place To Find Megalodon Teeth In California In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The Only Known Place To Find Megalodon Teeth In California In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


It can be difficult to find megalodon teeth in California because they’re rare in the state. While it’s easier to find these fossils on the East Coast of the US, finding them on the West Coast is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Even so, several specimens have been found in California over the years. If you know where to look, you’ll have a better chance of discovering a great specimen. 

Our journey has taught us that success in this endeavor often hinges on having the right guidance. That’s where we come in! We’re excited to share our knowledge and lead you to some of the best spots in California for finding these rare fossils.

What Are California Megalodon Teeth Anyway?

gray megalodon tooth
Megalodon tooth provided by EmsgemstonesOR

Megalodon teeth are fascinating remnants from a massive prehistoric shark that once swam in our oceans.

Learning how to identify megalodon teeth is a key part of our exciting journey in geology. These teeth are usually large, triangular, and have serrated edges, similar to a steak knife.

They can range in color from black to gray, depending on how long they’ve been buried and the minerals they’ve absorbed over time.

We often find these teeth in places where the ocean used to be but is now dry land. This includes coastal regions, riverbeds, and sandy areas that were once underwater.

Sometimes, they’re discovered in rock formations or gravel beds, places where natural processes have concentrated heavier objects like fossils.

The value of what megalodon teeth are worth can vary greatly. It depends on their size, condition, and color. Larger, well-preserved teeth can be quite valuable to collectors and scientists.

The Types Of Megalodon Teeth Found In California

The types of California megalodon teeth vary based on their position in the shark’s mouth. Some teeth are broad and triangular, perfect for grasping prey, while others are narrower and sharper, ideal for slicing through tough marine flesh. 

These are the types of megalodon teeth you can expect to find:

  • Anterior
  • Lateral
  • Posterior

For those eager to learn more, our fossil guide is a great resource for finding fossils in California. It’s packed with tips on where to look, how to identify different types of fossils, and more.

How We Found The Best Megalodon Tooth Locations in California
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding California megalodon teeth there are plenty of things we consider. Many of the best locations are closely guarded secrets which can make it really difficult for more casual fossil hunters to find success. The key factors in our recommendations are:

  • The deep experience and understanding of our team about the area
  • Recommendations from local groups and clubs
  • How easy it is to get the a particular location
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Weighing private and public locations
  • The ability for both experienced and novice geode enthusiasts to find great samples

With these factors in mind we’ve been able to put together a fantastic list that just about anyone can use!

The Best Places To Find Megalodon Teeth in California

broken gray megalodon tooth
Megalodon tooth provided by PotomacCliffFinds

We’ve learned that knowing where to look for megalodon teeth is half the battle in this thrilling hunt. Without the right guidance, it can be pretty tough to spot these hidden gems.

Fortunately, we’re here to share our experiences and lead the way in uncovering these fascinating fossils.

Always Confirm Access and Collection Rules!

Before heading out to any of the locations on our list you need to confirm access requirements and collection rules for both public and private locations.

These requirements are subject to change without notice and may differ from what we state below.

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding.

Sharktooth Hill

gavel areas with patches of grass
Sharktooth Hill provided by Phat Fossils

Sharktooth Hill is an incredible place, rich in geological wonders and full of history beneath its surface. It’s part of a larger formation known as the Round Mountain Silt.

You’ll notice the terrain is mostly rolling hills, with some areas covered in loose, sandy soil. What makes this spot special is its past as an ancient seabed, dating back millions of years.

We’ve found that the area is teeming with marine fossils. The sediments here have perfectly preserved a diverse range of ocean life from a bygone era.

Where we found megalodon teeth in Sharktooth Hill

You’re likely to find megalodon teeth embedded in the silt and sandy layers of the soil. These layers, formed from an old seabed, are where to mine for megalodon teeth.

We’ve noticed that the best spots are usually on the lower slopes of the hills, where erosion has exposed older sediments.

Rock pick being used

The tools every fossil hunter will need

When you're out looking for fossils having the right tools for the job is really going to make or break your success. You don't need a lot for most trips but there are a handful that are critical and will make your life a lot easier.

We get asked a lot about the equipment we use. Over the years we've found a handful of tools that we recommend to both new and experienced fossil hunters which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding tools and kit guide. These are quality options that also happen to be relatively inexpensive.

Below are the basic tools that make your life so much easier and save you a ton of time. Check out the full guide to see everything we recommend bringing. One quick note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but we try very hard to only recommend gear we would use ourselves and often recommend brands you can't find on Amazon.

At a minimum you should have:

1 - Sturdy rock hammer: The Estwing Rock Pick is our standard

2 - Rugged chisels: Try Kendo' 3-piece Chisel Set

3 - Compact shovel: The Koleiya 28-inch shovel works well

4 - Rock screen pan: The Wazakura Soil Sieve Set fits the bill

5 - Eye protection: DeWalt Safety Glasses are cheap and comfortable

6 - Head protection: Malta's Safety Helmet has been our go-to

7 - Jewelers lens with at least 20x magnification: Jarlink's Jewelers Loop is perfect

The fossil-finding books that we use most

There are also a few books that have been extremely helpful in the search for gems. These books have great recommendations and tips:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America 

Southwest Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southwestern Quadrant 

We provide links to find these tools on Amazon but some can also be found at your local hardware stores. For more recommendations check out the link to our full tool guide above.

Common Megalodon Teeth-Hunting Questions

brown megalodon tooth
Megalodon tooth provided by RocciaRoba

We love sharing our knowledge and experiences, helping others understand the significance o fmegalodon teeth. Here, we’ll answer some of the questions people have about finding these fossils in California.

Is it illegal to collect megalodon teeth in California?

When it comes to collecting megalodon teeth in California, the legality can vary depending on the location. Many areas are protected, meaning collecting fossils, including megalodon teeth, can be restricted or even illegal.

This is especially true in state parks and national parks, where removing any natural artifacts is generally prohibited. However, there are some places where it’s perfectly legal to search for and collect these teeth.

We’ve learned that in certain public lands and beaches, you can legally collect megalodon teeth for personal use. It’s always a good idea to check the specific rules of the area you’re planning to explore. 

Understanding and respecting these regulations is crucial for preserving these sites for future generations. When learning how to find megalodon teeth, it’s just as important to know the legal aspects as it is to know the geological ones.

In some cases, you might need a permit to collect fossils. These permits are usually easy to obtain and are often available at local government offices or park visitor centers.

The Best Places To Buy Megalodon Teeth In California

exterior of a single story wood building with rock and mineral displays in front
Geode Shop by Wonder Hearts / Google

In our travels around California, we’ve come across some fantastic shops that sell megalodon teeth. These are our top five picks:

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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