Mary Anning, British palaeontologist

Mary Anning, British palaeontologist

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mary Anning (1799-1847), British palaeontologist and geologist. She is holding a geological hammer and a sample bag. Her father was a carpenter who supplemented his income by selling fossils to summer tourists. He died when she was 11, forcing her to make money in the same way. Anning found the first complete skeleton of a Plesiosaurus in 1825 and the first ever flying reptile (pterodactyl) fossil, Dimorphodon, in 1828. While she did not study her fossils nor write any scientific papers, she is important for the care she took in extracting fossils and her role in popularizing palaeontology.

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