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  You are here:  FeaturesAssociated Squalodon Teeth      
Associated Squalodon Tooth Set from Berkeley County, SC

This is an associated set of teeth from a squalodon (toothed whale) from the Chandler Bridge Geologic Formation that dates back to the Oligocene (28 million years). Finding a single tooth in decent condition is a rare event, but to get this many is likely a once in a lifetime event for me. Several are in poor condition because of exposure and being washed out into the creek and tumbling in the raging current during surprisingly frequent flash floods. Its unfortunate that the same force that erodes the obscuring sediments for us to discover treasures such as this is the same force that crushes them. Luckily, most of these escaped major loss, and a couple are even superb. It is likely that there are more there, and possibly even other parts. There is actually a very good chance of it because of the presence of the double rooted teeth. These usually have an added tenacity because of the extra support, so they are seldom washed from the skull, and when they are, its usually not too far away. Vertebra, ribs, and other bones commonly form a swirl around the skull since it is the heaviest part and forms a natural collection point. The Chandler Bridge layer is one of the few places on earth where you have the fossilized remains of an undisturbed marine oligocene environment that was ideal to support a rich diversity of life - plants, shellfish, crustaceons, fish, small sharks, large sharks, and primitive whales. Everything that fell to the bottom in that fine clay/sand bottom was preserved as well as if it were in a museum case. That is, if you fell on high ground. Everywhere else was stripped bare as the ocean continued its cycle of retreating and re-conquering the land. The huge flow of water tore out oligocene, miocene, pliocene, and pleistocene fossils and redeposited them in a layer called the Hawthorne formation. Scant are the locations where the fine silt Chandler Bridge deposits remain, and one of those is right here in Summerville. The fossils we find are a great reminder what a varied history this area has had over time.

Associated Squalodon Teeth

     

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