Fossils of Virginia

     Click the physiographic map to the right for fossils in other parts of Virginia

Virginia geologic cross-section Piedmont Coastal Plain Appalachian Plateau Valley and Ridge Blue Ridge Coastal Plain
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Untitled Document Shark teeth
Calvert, Eastover, and Yorktown Formations

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Shark teeth can most commonly be found on beaches along the region’s rivers after they erode out of fossil bearing beds in bluffs, though they are increasingly hard to find as collectors have intensively combed these beaches for many years. Since sharks' teeth are continuously replaced, one shark can produce thousands of teeth during its lifetime. Shark teeth are preserved because they are made of the hard mineral apatite (calcium phosphate). Other remains of sharks are not preserved because their skeletons are made of soft cartilage.
Teeth from several species can be found in the Coastal Plain, such as:
Isurus hastalis (Mako shark)
Eugomphodus sp., Odontapsis sp. (Sandtiger sharks)
Notorhynchus primigenius (Broadnose sevengill shark)
Galeocerdo aduncus (Tiger shark)
Charcharhinus egertoni (Bull or Dusky shark)
Carcharodon sp. (Great White shark)
Hemipristis sp. (Snaggletooth Shark)