A is for Mary Anning – Paleontologist
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Mary Anning (1799 – 1847) was born in Lyme Regis along the southern shore of Great Britain. Cliffs at Lyme Regis are known world wide for incredible exposures of Jurassic rocks that are abundantly fossiliferous. Early in her life, she and her family supported themselves with fossil collection and sale from these cliffs. By the mid-1820’s, Mary was an accomplished anatomist and was essentially running the family fossil business.
Anning is credited with collecting the first specimen of Ichthyosaurus, a marine reptile that is superficially rather dolphin-like (but is definitely not a dolphin).
One of her greatest contributions to science was the discovery of the first specimens of a plesiosaur.
Read more on the University of California Museum of Paleontology’s website.
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