Fossils are beautiful, one of a kind pieces of natural history, and here at Whaler's Locker, we love collecting unique specimens for you to purchase! From fossilized shark teeth to ammonite fossils and so much more, we believe we have something for everyone, from the serious collector to the hobbyist and everyone in between. But, before we show you some of our favorite fossils from the collection, let’s check out what makes a fossil a fossil and why they’re such a vital piece of history.
What Are Fossils?
Derived from the Latin word, fossus, which means “having dug up,” fossils are ancient sets of remains from organisms that lived on Earth long ago. At their very basic definition, fossils are the well-preserved remains, or traces of those remains, from ancient organisms. A fossil can preserve all of an organism or just part of it. For instance, bones, teeth, leaves, feathers, and shells can all be considered a fossil.
Did you know that fossils have to be at least 10,000 years old to be considered a genuine fossil? That’s right! And actually, becoming a fossil is pretty rare, too, which makes the fossils a pretty unique purchase. Fossilization, or the process an organism undergoes to become a fossil, doesn't happen to every organism. Only under incredibly perfect circumstances do remains become the fossils we know and love today. They must not have a chance to decompose, but rather, be covered by a layer of sediment shortly after death to begin the fossilization process.
Body Fossils Vs. Trace Fossils: What’s in a Fossil?
Generally speaking, there are two main types of fossils: body fossils and trace fossils. Let’s take a look at the difference between each type now.
A lot of the fossils that we’re proud to carry here at Whaler’s Locker fall into this category. Body fossils are any part of the actual organism that is left intact, either partially or entirely. This can include but is not limited to bones, shark teeth, shells, and leaves.
Trace fossils, on the other hand, are merely proof that an organism existed. Meaning, it could be a fossilized paw print, tunnels, and sometimes fossilized excrement! These trace fossils provide paleontologists with the unique ability to study and know more about ancient creatures that we may no longer have on Earth today.
Some of the more common fossils you might find today are trilobite, ammonite, and shark teeth! Although if you don't know how or where to look for these, it might be pretty tricky to stumble across them.
Digging Up Your Own Fossils
Hunting for fossils can be an exciting prospect for a weekend afternoon, especially if you’re a history buff or fossil collector. Like anything in life, the chase is half of the fun! So, even if you come back empty-handed, it can still be a thrilling weekend afternoon adventure. If you fancy yourself a weekend paleontologist, there are a few tips you can abide by to make your fossil search more fruitful and legal:
- Identify and look for fossils in sedimentary rock (shale,
- Narrow your search to banks of rivers, streams, and creek beds
- Prepare your supplies: a flathead screwdriver, a bucket, a small shovel, a marker, and Ziploc bags
- Check out paleontology websites like myFossil to find prime fossil hunting grounds
- Always check state and city laws before starting your search to make sure you aren’t illegally digging up fossils
If hunting for fossils sounds like too much work for little return, we have good news for you! We’re proud to sell a few kinds of fossils here at Whaler's Locker. And the best part about them is that they are all authentic because we never sell replications or imitations. Let’s check out just a small sampling of the different kinds of fossils you might find in our store in Lahaina or online through our website!Tooth Fossils
If you’ve been a fan of Whaler’s Locker for long, you know how much we love Megalodon shark teeth. And why wouldn’t we? The size alone is amazing, but have you ever heard of a Mosasaur? While not as big as a Megalodon shark tooth fossil, these Mosasaur tooth fossils date back more than 70 million years!
While not technically considered a shark or a dinosaur for that matter, Mosasaurs were giant finned reptiles that swam in the world’s oceans and seas. Mosasaurs could grow up to 13 feet in length and were known to move their bodies in the water like modern-day sharks, with their muscular tails providing the force they needed to glide through the shallow waters and hunt for prey. The first Mosasaur fossil remains were first found in a limestone quarry way back in 1764. Since then, Mosasaur fossils have been found all over the world, but modern-day Morocco and Angola are definite hot spots for finding these fossils.
Here at Whaler’s Locker, we’re proud to carry high-quality Mosasaur teeth specimens. Keep checking back with us as we collect more and more unique pieces for our online and physical store!
Moroccan Mosasaur Fossil Tooth
This massive 2.5" fossil dated back to at least 70 million years ago and is from a phosphate deposit in Morocco. It’s from the Prognathodon species of the Mosasaur, which means it was one of the thirty-eight genera of Mosasaur that we know of today.
Mosasaur Fossil Tooth in Matrix
If you’re looking for a non-traditional tooth fossil, you’ve found it! This Mosasaur tooth is still intact and not restored, but it's also still attached to the natural matrix. This specimen was also found in the phosphate deposits of Morocco and dated back at least 70 million years, as well. It's an exciting piece that any fossil collector would be lucky to have!
Because we call Hawaii home, we have a particular love and respect for the ocean and all the life it contains. Sharks are a huge part of Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures, and for that reason and so many more, we love shark tooth jewelry and shark teeth fossils! From Megalodon shark teeth to Carcharocles Sokolovi shark teeth fossils, we think we’ve got something for every collector. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of our favorite shark teeth fossils.
Carcharocles Sokolovi Shark Teeth
This beautiful shark tooth specimen comes to us from Morocco and dates back to the late Eocene era, so that means it is more than 33-56 million years old! The best part about this shark tooth fossil? It has had absolutely no restoration done to it, which is extremely rare. The enamel, cusps, and serrations are something any collector would be lucky to have on display in their home or office!
Although it’s a smaller version of the previous Carcharocles Sokolovi shark tooth we discussed above, the price point and the beautiful details on this shark tooth fossil make this the perfect piece for any up and coming fossil collection!
Parotodus Benedeni Shark Tooth Pendants
Also known as the false-tooth Mako, the Parotodus shark teeth fossils we carry are unique for a few reasons. First, they have all been inlayed with either turquoise or pyrite, and second, they are wearable pieces of history! That's right, each of these fossilized shark teeth is a pendant, too. Check out a few of our favorites below:
This rare shark tooth fossil has been polished up and is extra sparkly, thanks to the pyrite inlay on the root and tip! The colors and unique accents of this shark tooth fossil truly shine, and it's sure to be a statement once set on a chain like this one!
We love the dark colors and unique mottled accents on this Parotodus Benedeni shark tooth, especially once it's paired with the turquoise inlay on the root. Thanks to a beautiful polish, this tooth shines and would make the perfect statement necklace for any fossil lovers you know!
Megalodon Shark Teeth
Translating to "big tooth," Megalodon is the long-extinct species of shark that hunted in the world’s oceans 23 to 3.6 million years ago. Known as a close relative of the modern-day Great White Shark, the Megalodon was one of the largest and most powerful predators in the history of the world. Because Megalodon lived so many million years ago, fossils are hard to come by, but shark teeth from Megalodon are the most common find. These shark teeth can even measure up to seven inches long, which is one of the most mammoth shark tooth fossils ever discovered.
If you’re on the hunt for large, impressive shark teeth for your fossil collection, Megalodon shark teeth are your best bet! Let’s take a look at a few we have in the shop:
There are plenty of reasons why we love this Megalodon shark tooth, but for starters, check out the unique coloring! Pair that with the striations and other markings, and this makes the perfect fossil for any person who loves shark teeth!
One of the most significant Megalodon pieces we currently have in the shop, this impressive fossil is intact, and hasn't been restored or repaired. It has, however, been polished to a high shine to show off the beautiful black root with accents of red on the blade edges.
Now that you know a little more about our favorite fossils let's take a look at another unique, ancient-inspired product line we carry online and in-store, which are our scrimshaw pieces!
While they may not technically be considered fossils, our scrimshaw designs are special and unique because of their long history, dating back to the early 1800s. As an art form, scrimshaw used to be done on fossils themselves, from whales or other marine life. Today, however, you can find elaborate scrimshaw designs on things like magnifying glasses, cuff links, lighters, money clips, knives, and so much more! The scrimshaw designs we’re proud to carry here at Whaler’s Locker come from more sustainable bone sources, rather than whale bones like our ancestors previously used to produce scrimshaw art.
Scrimshaw was primarily thought of as a leisure activity for whalers when they were not working, but it was also a way to tell stories and pass them along from generation to generation. Today, these unique scrimshaw designs and products allow artisans to celebrate the history of Hawaii, giving visitors a little piece to take home with them. We’re lucky to have two extremely talented local scrimshaw artists here on Maui, Doug Fine David Haake, who provide us with the most unique, authentically Hawaiian scrimshaw pieces that we can now offer you, our customers. We love how the ancient art of scrimshaw can transform everyday objects into unique works of art that you’ll cherish forever. Check out a few of our scrimshaw pieces below!
These unique brass scrimshaw cufflinks feature several unique scrimshaw designs for you to choose from—all of which can help you bring a little piece of Hawaii home with you or wherever you may go. Whether you want the scrimshaw turtles, ship, humpback whale, shark, or lighthouse, these tiny details will make a significant impact on whoever sees them!
Save your fingers from the dreaded paper cut with this beautifully handcrafted scrimshaw letter opener! Not only is it functional and something you'll use every day, but this specific letter opener also features a unique scrimshaw design on the handle, reminding you of the Hawaiian Islands whenever you pick it up! Available in a few different scrimshaw variations: a ship, ship and whale tail, a humpback whale, and a turtle, you’ll be hoping for mail just for an excuse to use this piece from local scrimshaw artist Doug Fine!
Authentic Fossils, Delivered Right to Your Door
Whether you’re new to collecting artifacts or are just looking to grow your collection, we have just what you need right here at Whaler’s Locker in Lahaina, and now online! Visit our online store today to check out the rest of our fossil selection and all the other unique gifts we carry; we guarantee you’ll find something for everyone on your list! Happy hunting!