Portrait of Mary Anning, British geologist

Portrait of Mary Anning, British geologist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mary Anning. Portrait of Mary Anning (1799-1847), British paleontologist. Anning's father was a carpenter who supplemented his income by selling fossils to summer tourists. He died when she was aged 11 and Mary Anning had to make money in the same way. In 1811 Anning excavated the remains of a marine dinosaur, Ichthyosaurus, and sold it for #23. She found the first complete skeleton of Plesiosaurus in 1825 and the first ever flying reptile (pterodactyl) fossil, Dimorphodon, in 1828. Anning did not study her fossils nor write any scientific papers. However, she is important for the care she took in extracting fossils and her role in popularising paleontology.

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Keywords: anning, dimorphodon, dinosaur hunter, discoverer, fossil hunter, ichthyosaurus, mary, palaeontologist, plesiosaurus, portraits, pterodactyl, surname a

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