WHITE WHALE   QUARRY                 Quality                   
 shark teeth and fossils

About Us

Lisa Tohill

  Having come from a family of rockhounds and fossil lovers, it's not a mystery why I love the hobby. Back in the 1960's, my family would all pile in the car and go on excursions out to the desert. There, we would search for fossils in dry creek beds. One year, my mother read a magazine article about digging for shark teeth in an area called Sharktooth Hill located in Bakersfield, California.  Soon after, off we went on a 2 hour ride up north to Bakersfield.  After many wrong turns, we finally made our way to the site.  I was 7 years old at the time and that adventure sparked a life long passion.  I still remember anxiously digging along side my mother and the frustration I felt when I didn't find any fossils.  Seeing this, my mother leaned over and, with her hand shovel, broke off a section of earth for me to search in. The teeth and bone pieces I found that day became my treasures. Who would of thought, almost 50 years later, I would come to own a section of that exact area!

  Since 2001, we've attended many digs hosted by the Ernst family and the Buena Vista Museum and have developed a deep appreciation of this very special place.  We feel honored to be the guardians of future fossil finds that will contribute to the story of Sharktooth Hill.

  I am thankful for having a wonderful husband that partakes in this passion and, by doing so, it has become his as well.  His favorite saying is "Thanks for getting me hooked on this, Honey!". With a megalodon tooth in his hand,  I am sure he doesn't mind!

               Sean Tohill 

I am in the home remodeling construction business.  Our company, All Trades Ready Construction has been in business in Simi Valley, Ca. for over 20 years.  I am no stranger to moving dirt and being outdoors.

  My love of the outdoors comes in a long and slithering form, snakes.  I know they aren't the most popular creatures, but I seem to have a real connection with them.  As a kid, I caught many snakes near my home in the hills of Chatsworth, California. It was a great place to collect them and I have been doing it ever since.  When Lisa and I first met, we would go to an area in southern Texas to look for the Gray Banded King snake.  When I first heard about this rare snake in the 1980's, it went to the top of  my bucket list to collect.  The two of us would drive the Texas highways in search of this elusive snake. Even though it took us 10 years to finally spot one, we had fun along the way. It's easier collecting fossils than snakes as they are not always on the move.

  When the opportunity to buy the quarry presented itself, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to buy it for Lisa.  It would be a dream come true for her .  Call it a big "thank you dear" for joining me on all my snake collecting adventures.  Besides, I always wanted a place to build my own shooting range!


  It's been an exciting first year on the quarry between many fantastic new finds, friends, and the filming of three new TV shows.  The first was Discovery Channel's Shark Week show


    AIRED THIS PAST AUGUST DURING                               SHARK WEEK
            The Discovery Channel

 Featuring the Mythbuster team - Keri, Tori, & Grant as well as the making of a Megalodon shark replica right down to an awesome set of steel mechanical jaws.

 The second show was National Geographic's 


      Air date:  August 22, 2012
          National Geographic Channel

  On this program we bring
 our lost treasure - a dolphin skull found by us last year.

The final filming was with HGTV for a new series called


After seeing our dinosaur/fossil themed home on Sharkzilla, HGTV wanted to film a closer look at our dinosaurs and fossil collection.  We will update with an exact airing time soon.


Nothing like spending the day at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach with the family




             THE QUARRY 
We purchased the quarry and surrounding 85 acres in 2010 from the Ernst family.  The previous owner, Bob Ernst, was a well known fossil collector who personally collected over 2 million fossil specimens from several quarries located within his 350 plus acres. The other 3 remaining quarries still belong to the Ernst family where they now have paid public digs throughout the year.

  Ernst Quarries dig information at:
   Our intent is to continue discovering all the wonderful specimens contained in this fossil rich area. We are currently working closely with the Buena Vista and LA County Museums.  We have had several paleontologists visit the quarry and plan on continuing an on going relationship with the scientific community.  We feel that if a rare or scientifically significant fossil is found it should be brought to the attention of paleontologists. To date, we are working on preparing 2 plaster jackets containing 40 associated shark vertebrae at the Buena Vista Museum Lab in Bakersfield.  We are hoping to have this display ready for viewing by August 2012.

     Sean & Lisa with jacketed shark vertebra  

                     inside the jackets


                   SHARK VERTEBRAE

  Shark vertebra all prepped and   ready for display ! One more jacket to go.


 After all the excitement of winning on National Geographic's Americas Lost Treasures and discovering that our dolphin is a new species, it's time to start the preparation process and research.  I have been personally cleaning the dolphin skull and mandible under the supervision of Dr. Larry Barnes and Senior Paleontological Preparator, Howell Thomas, at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.  What a privilege and honor to be included in this exciting process.  The dolphin will be displayed at the National Geographic's Museum in Washington D.C. in the spring of 2013.   After being on display for one year it will return home to the Natural History Museum here in Los Angeles.  
Dolphin update:  
The cleaning of the dolphin was completed and then donated to
the Los Angeles Natural History
Museum.  We soon learned that
the plans to display the winning
 artifacts of America's Lost Treasures was canceled.  The dolphin will remain at the LA Museum available for scientists to study.

                Dolphin skull


  While excavating out some associated dolphin vertebra I happened upon not one but two beautiful megalodon teeth.  the first was an upper tooth 5" X 4.5" and the second was a 4.5" X 4.3" lower.  They were also found only 3' apart. 


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