San Diego Formation (California Pliocene)

These fossils were found in the San Diego Formation (Pliocene, about 2-3 million years old) in Pacific Beach, San Diego County. The website of the San Diego Natural History Museum has some good information on the geology and paleontology of the San Diego area, including the paleontology of the San Diego Formation. My main reference for fossil identification was a booklet Fossil Mollusks of San Diego County by Ellen J. Moore, Occasional Paper 15 (San Diego Society of Natural History, San Diego, CA, 1968). Unfortunately, this is out-of-print. Since these fossils are so recent, some of the species are still extant, so I found The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Seashells by Harald A. Rehder (Chanticleer Press, New York, 1981) to be helpful. I found the online Key to the Common Genera of Neogene Shark Teeth, by Robert Purdy of the National Museum of Natural History to be helpful in identifying the shark tooth, though I didn't attempt to identify it all the way to the species level.

Click on the links below to view the specimens.

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Last modified: May 27, 2001. Send comments to