Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist who became known around the world for the discoveries she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel at Lyme Regis in the county of Dorset in Southwest England.
Anning searched for fossils in the area’s Blue Lias and Charmouth Mudstone cliffs, particularly during the winter months when landslides exposed new fossils that had to be collected quickly before they were lost to the sea.
Her discoveries included the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton when she was twelve years old; the first two nearly complete plesiosaur skeletons; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and fish fossils.
Her observations played a key role in the discovery that coprolites, known as bezoar stones at the time, were fossilised faeces, and she also discovered that belemnite fossils contained fossilised ink sacs like those of modern cephalopods.
Mary Anning may have been the inspiration for the song lyrics below which became the popular tongue twister, “She Sells Seashells”.
Source: Mary Anning – Wikiwand