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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mary Anning Archaeologist and A woman ahead of her time.

  She sells sea shells by the sea shore- remember this popular tongue twister? Well it turns out Marie Anning inspired this rhyme!







Born in 1799 into a working class family on the Dorset coast, Mary grew up near the cliffs of Lyme Regis--to this day--a fossil hunters paradise. Rich in an array of fantastic fossils deposited from the Jurassic seas 200 million years ago, the area contains a wealth of hidden treasures. 

Mary's father, Richard, was a cabinet maker but also spent some of his free time collecting fossils and it was he who first taught her to hunt for fossils.

The father and daughter duo set up a stall along the seafront where they sold the various curiosities they had collected. 

    Mary was banned from the Geological Society of London in the 1800's. But revenge is sweet, although unfortunately long in coming. In 2010 she was named by the Royal Society as one of the top 10 British women to have most influenced the history of science.   
                       

Unfortunately Anning's father died in 1810, following a battle with consumption But not to be defeated Anning continued to sell her curiosities to help supplement her family's income this was dangerous work too, largely owing to the unforgiving seas, steep cliffs and treacherous tides. 

         In 1811 Mary uncovered the first complete 
Ichthypsaurus - or fish lizard- ever seen! Some of her most notable finds included the discovery of a Plesiosaurus in 1823, appropriately nicknamed the 'sea-dragon', and in 1828 the Pterodactyles - a type of flying dinosaur!
                                                          

Despite receiving no formal training, Mary managed to make a name for herself as one of the foremost fossil hunters of her generation. She taught herself anatomy, geology, and paleontology - a testament to her passion and determination - and became an expert in these fields.


Mary Anning died of breast cancer in 1847 at the age of only 47. But her legacy continues to live on today. 

       fossil3






2 comments:

  1. Great post, Gini. This one was quite interesting :)

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    1. Thank you Darlene: She sounded like quite a woman.

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