M4 Megalodon Alert!
Well, after 16 years of looking for a honker it finally happened, just not as expected. For years I only knew of and/or had access to one place to fossil hunt. During those first painful years the best area was a long 1.5 mile one way walk northward over a long, flat stretch of beach with little finds to an outcrop that always seemed to produce some fossil goodies. It was always disheartening though to walk the 1.25 miles to see a local come down 100 yards in front of me and find fossils that otherwise I would’ve had a shot at.
After a while, that site was rip wrapped and the finds declined but it was still worth the long walk. In fact, the first “honker” I ever saw from the bay came from that spot after it was rip wrapped. A sweet, cream colored 4” tooth found by a non-local guy who came down every year with his family from New Hampshire. I haven’t seen him in years but I remember that tooth!
So this spot was always an early favorite and had good memories but as I met more people and got more toys (boat, now a jet ski) I would go to other spots instead. Well this weekend Paleoscan had me and Mrs. M4 (porpoise girl) over and with bad weather approaching we decided to just walk the beach near his place instead. Now, his place is just a little ways from the rock wrapped cove of my early fossil excursions so now I could come in with one of the locals and make the finds.
As we walked Paleoscan admitted he was at a fossil low. Not much lately in the way of good finds for him and he was just at a “blah” point. I was sure I had not helped the matters after I whimped out with not wanting to take out the jet ski due to the forecast (if we had taken it out it would have been miserable, if we didn’t the weather would hold – I was going to lose either way) so I tried to cheer him up wit talking about past fossil finds. He told me his best find was made right along this stretch, a 4 inch beauty missing one root lobe. Now a 4” tooth along the bay is a rare find so that got us both going and thinking about what might be out there. Maybe a nice croc tooth or a large hemmie, maybe a mako or a cow shark….
Well, we were not finding much and after hiking over the rip wrap we got to this exposed beach. Then it finally happened. Paleoscan went high and I went low. I walked around an iron crusted boulder in the surf and there it was - fully exposed in the wash zone just lying on a bed of sand - I nearly fainted!!! I called to Paleoscan and told him he was going to be po'd. He said "I am peeing" I said, "oh well your going to be po'd when you see this tooth!!!" He said "wait till I’m done taking a leak"… I waited, he came over and said “Why did you wait to show me that tooth!!” I said “You were taking a leak!!!”
The front (lingual) side has almost all of the bourlette scooped out. I don’t know if this was feeding damage or depositional erosion so it is not perfect but the flaw gives it character. The back (labial) side is almost perfect – just a few missing serrations at the tip and on the top left side.
It’s not a monster by BRF standards but for the Bay it’s huge. It even passed the dive tooth case test – tried to close the case but it wouldn’t fit!!! First tooth I ever found that wouldn’t fit!!! Had to wait till we got home to measure it: 4.5” on the slant, 4.25” on the other slant and 4.25” straight up. Sweet…
I think I used up all of my fossil karma on this tooth. In fact, on the way home the fossil gods seem to have decided on their own “trade” for this find - one of my own teeth!!! I had a tooth start to ache and after spending all day on Monday shuttling between dental experts I have a root canal scheduled for Thursday. Quite the price but I think it’s worth it!!!
PS – Tooth is feeling better so the root canal is on hold, for now…… Looks like I get to keep my tooth intact.