Mary Anning a Formal Portrait

Pioneering fossil collector Mary Anning was famous for finding fossils along the coast of the Lyme Regis area in Dorset (southern England).  With her little dog to keep her company (dog sadly killed in a landslide), Mary spent many hours each day between the tides exploring the cliffs and foreshore looking for fossils from the Lower Lias sediments.

Mary Anning 1799-1847

Mary Anning 1799-1847.

Mary came from a family of professional fossil collectors.  The family excavated fossils of many marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs along with a number of prehistoric fish.  She helped discover the first pterosaur fossils to be formally studied in England and she was pivotal in helping to build up the fossil record of Lower Jurassic specimens.