Mary Anning (1799 – 1847)
Mary Anning knew more about dinosaurs and their fossils than the greatest male scholars of her day.
She grew up in an age when most influential scientists at the time still didn’t accept dinosaur fossils for what they were – evidence of an extinct group of species that roamed the earth million of years ago. The easier explanation for fossils, for most people at the time, was the stuff of fairytales and legends.
Her greatest achievements:
Mary Anning, however, was not influenced by dogma. She just trusted that what she was finding was something new and exciting, that had not been described by science before. She worked for years near her home along the cliffs of Lyme Regis in Dorset, England, excavating fossilized remains of dinosaurs and other prehistoric organisms, and making detailed sketches of her discoveries. She was the first person to discover and describe the skeleton of an ichthyosaurs. She became an expert in fossils and dinosaur anatomy, and was consulted by many scientists of the day. But more often than not, she was not given credit for her work. Through her devotion to fossil discovery and tireless work, Mary Anning laid the foundation for the scientific field of paleontology.
These sources will give you a deeper understanding of Mary Anning’s life and contributions to science: