1.81" Fossil Shark Tooth (Carcharodon planus) - Bakersfield, CA

This is a 1.81" long fossil shark (Carcharodon planus) tooth found at Sharktooth Hill near Bakersfield, CA. It comes from the Temblor Formation making it about 15.5 million years old.

The exact classification of these teeth has been hotly debated for several decades. Historically these teeth have been classified as a Mako shark (Isurus planus or Cosmopolitodus planus) but more recent research has suggested they fall into the white shark lineage (Carcharodon planus) You can read more about this here.

Sharktooth Hill is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Bakersfield, California. It represents an exposure of the Temblor Formation, a middle-Miocene marine deposit. 15 million years ago the sea levels were substantially higher and central California was covered by what is known as the Temblor Sea.

There are two highly fossiliferous bone beds in the formation that were created when fossils originally deposited at the bottom of the sea eroded out of the rocks, were concentrated by ocean currents, and subsequently reburied. Because the fossils in these bone beds are reworked, only isolated teeth and bones are found in these beds.

Today, the original Sharktooth Hill is a National Natural Landmark, but there is private property surrounding it on which there are operational pay-to-dig fossil quarries.
Carcharodon (Isurus) planus
Bakersfield, California
Temblor Formation
1.81" long
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