The state of Delaware is a great place for fossil hunting. There are many limestone rock outcroppings and exposed marl pits that create perfect conditions for preserving fossils from ancient life forms.
Fossils were found here for over 500 million years ago.
There is no one place you can go to find fossils, but there are plenty of public lands in the state where the Bureau of Natural Resources does not require excavation permits for collecting purposes.
In this article, I share a list of places you can start with.
Where to Find Fossils in Delaware?
There are several places in the state of Delaware where fossils can be found. Some of the best places for fossil finds in Delaware are:
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal State Park: Off Highway 113, Chester, Delaware.
This park is along the Chesapeake and Delaware canal. There are two sites along the canal where fossil hunting is allowed without a permit: The Slippin’ Stone site and Slippin’ Stones site.
Lums Pond State Park is located at 43 The Green, Dover, DE 19901, United States
This 40-acre site is located off Highway 14 and Route 4 in Dover. It was once a potash mine that operated between 1894 and 1930.
White Clay Creek State Park is located at Park Office, 750 Thompson Station Rd, Newark, DE 19711
Alapocas Run State Park Lewes, Delaware located1914 Park Dr, Wilmington, DE 19803, United States
It has a well-preserved dinosaur trackway that can easily be seen at the park’s visitor center.
Fossils are found in various areas of the park, including creek gravels and outcroppings that are exposed at the site. Fossils found here are from over 60 million years ago in the Eocene Period.
Fort DuPont State Park is located Wilmington Ave, Delaware City, DE 19706, United States
This park, located along the north bank of the Delaware River, is just off of Route 13. The mile-long park contains a trail where fossil collectors and hunters can go to look for fossils along the river’s edge. Digging and collecting fossils are allowed at this site.
Cape Henlopen State Park located at 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958.
This park has great fossil sites both in the park and along the shore of Delaware Bay.
This park contains fossils of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals that lived in this area millions of years ago in Tertiary times (about 40 million years ago).
Fort Miles Historical Area is located at 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958
This park has one of the largest remaining prehistoric Indian earthwork mounds, Fort Miles. It’s a great location to go rockhounding.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is located at 2591 Whitehall Neck Rd, Smyrna, DE 19977
This 26,000-acre refuge and wetland area is a great place to hunt for fossils. It actually has 23 miles of trails where fossil collection is permitted.
Blackbird State Forest is located at 502 Blackbird Forest Rd, Smyrna, DE 19977.
This small state forest is a great place to look for ancient fossils. It contains prehistoric rock outcrops where fossils have been found.
There are also many active railroad lines in this area, so be very careful when looking for fossils here.
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Where to Find Shark Teeth in Delaware?
There are three main locations in Delaware where you can find shark teeth. These locations include Rehoboth Beach, Delaware City, and Greenville.
Shark teeth have been found in other areas of the state, including Wilmington, but there are no fossilized shark teeth in Wilmington.
The best time to look for shark teeth is during low tide seasons or during the summer months when it is frequently raining.
You will need to walk along the beaches to look for them. There are big teeth and small teeth. Big teeth are usually over 6 inches long, while small teeth are less than 2 inches in length.
Where to Find Dinosaur Teeth in Delaware?
Dinosaur teeth can be found in many locales throughout Delaware and are most commonly found along the surface of river beds and shale hills.
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal State Park is where one of the most significant finds of dinosaur teeth has been made in Delaware. Over 300 teeth, fragments, and bone fragments have been found there.
What Dinosaurs Lived in Delaware?
Dinosaurs have been found in Delaware in areas all over the state.
The Jurassic period had many different dinosaurs. These included: “Diplodocus, Eoceratops, Apsisaurus, Herrerasaurus, and Styracosaurus. All of these dinosaurs were plant-eaters.
The Late Cretaceous period had many different types of dinosaurs. These included: “Edmontosaurus, Ornitholestes, Suchosaurus, Barosaurus, and Iguanodon.” Many of these dinosaurs were meat-eaters, while others were plant-eaters.
In Delaware, the Late Triassic period had three types of dinosaurs. These included “Rutiodon Valens, Plateosaurus, and Coelophysis”. All three of these dinosaurs were plant-eaters.
Fossil Collecting Laws in Delaware
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has created policies and laws that protect fossils.
In order to collect fossils, geologists must obtain a permit from DNREC. There are also regulations that apply to fossil dealers, researchers, schools, and institutions.
In order to obtain a fossil collecting permit, the applicant must have a valid hunting license or fishing license dated within one calendar year before the date they intend to go on their collecting trips.
Fossils are essentially the remains of animals, plants, and other organisms from millions of years ago. They may be found buried in rocks or even on the surface of the ground, but they will show signs of their age, usually by becoming petrified through time or by turning into the stone itself.
Fossils can be collected and enjoyed by children, families, teachers, and even professional fossil collectors who enjoy exploring the world’s history.
Many fossils have been found in Delaware, including many shark teeth, dinosaur teeth, and much more.
There are both private and public landowners who have fossils exposed on their property. The state permits you to collect fossils by obtaining a free permit from the DNREC. It is important to note that the public has no right to collect fossils from private property.
You can find fossils of trilobites, shark teeth, dinosaur teeth, turtles, and much more in Delaware.
Fossils found in Delaware are often different types of marine fossils.
There are a variety of shark teeth that have been found, including Megalodon and Carcharocles. Megalodon is an extinct species that lived about 28 to 1.5 million years ago and was the largest shark ever to live on the planet.