All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.

Important and influential figures in science or from other related areas concerning dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.

8 05, 2024

Happy Birthday Sir David Attenborough Ninety-Eight Years Young!

By |2024-05-07T15:14:31+01:00May 8th, 2024|Dinosaur Fans, Famous Figures, Main Page|0 Comments

Today, May the 8th is the ninety-eighth birthday of Sir David Attenborough.  Sir David can be described as a “national treasure”.  Naturalist, biologist, campaigner and broadcaster his work has spanned eight decades.  Back in 2023, we experimented with artificial intelligence (AI) to compose a birthday message.  Chat GPT was employed to compose a suitable piece for our blog.

To read last year’s birthday message: Happy 97th Birthday Sir David Attenborough.

Twelve months on, and AI continues to develop at a remarkable pace.  For this year’s birthday message, we have utilised the AI chatbot aggregator Poe (poe.com) which provides users with access to a variety of AI tools and chatbots.

The AI Birthday Message

Happy 98th Birthday! Today, we celebrate not only another year of your remarkable life but also the immeasurable contributions you have made to our understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Your unwavering commitment to conservation and your extraordinary storytelling have touched the hearts of millions, leaving an indelible mark on the collective consciousness.

Sir David Attenborough.

Still enthusing about the natural world, the remarkable Sir David Attenborough.

Through your captivating documentaries, you have taken us on awe-inspiring journeys, unravelling the wonders of our planet and shedding light on the urgent need to protect its fragile ecosystems. Your voice, filled with passion and knowledge, has served as a beacon of hope, reminding us of our responsibility as stewards of this magnificent Earth.

Your tireless efforts to raise awareness about climate change, biodiversity loss, and the importance of sustainable living have inspired a global movement. You have sparked conversations, ignited curiosity, and empowered countless individuals to take action, making a real difference in the fight to preserve our planet for future generations.

As we celebrate your 98th birthday, we are grateful for the wisdom and inspiration you continue to impart. Your dedication, resilience, and unwavering love for nature are a testament to a life well-lived. May this day be filled with joy, surrounded by loved ones, and may the year ahead bring you good health, happiness, and many more opportunities to share your invaluable knowledge with the world.

Happy birthday, Sir David Attenborough! Thank you for being a shining light in our quest to protect and cherish the beauty of our natural world.

ENDS

We added a media image, a signed photograph of Sir David that we received some years ago.

Many Happy Returns Sir David Attenborough

These are changing times, our world is changing, and technology is changing too.  The genie is well and truly out of the bottle and AI is here to stay.  It will continue to have an enormous impact on our lives and on our planet.  Let us hope that technologies like artificial intelligence can help us develop strategies to combat climate change and to devise robust conservation strategies.

In the meantime, we continue to adopt processes and systems that increase the use of recycled materials in our business.  Furthermore, we have embarked on several projects exploring the adoption of more sustainable product packaging.  In addition, we are continuing to explore ways of reducing single use plastic within the model making industry.

We are sure Sir David would approve.

On that note, we wish you Sir, many happy returns.

Contact Everything Dinosaur to enquire about our environmental policy: Email Everything Dinosaur Team Members.

19 01, 2024

Professor Turi King to Lead Prestigious Milner Centre for Evolution

By |2024-01-18T09:53:07+00:00January 19th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Famous Figures, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Professor Turi King has been announced as the next Director of the prestigious Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath. The Professor has an impressive curriculum vitae. She is a highly respected geneticist with a distinguished career involving several scientific disciplines. Professor King uses sophisticated and state-of-the-art genetic methods to advance research in fields including forensics, archaeology and history. Her expertise will prove invaluable as research continues into the organic traces associated with fossil material.

Professor Turi King.
Professor Turi King is to be the next Director of the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath.

Picture credit: Carl Vivian

Professor Turi King

Turi graduated in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and received her MSc and PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester. She played a prominent role in the team of scientists that helped identify the remains of King Richard III. Her research expertise is in ancient forensic biomolecules. However, Professor King is a passionate communicator and has gained a lot of experience working with the media.

Perhaps best described as a polymath, Professor King has presented television programmes, written books and delivered lectures. She is currently Professor of Genetics and Public Engagement at the University of Leicester. Turi will join the University of Bath in April.

When asked about her new role, Professor King commented:

“I am truly excited and honoured to be joining Bath to lead the Milner Centre for Evolution. It is a unique institution and I am delighted to be able to contribute and build on both the excellent research and the public engagement with evolutionary science which are core to the Centre’s mission.”

We would like to wish Professor King every success as she takes up her new appointment.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the University of Bath in the compilation of this article.

The Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur.

7 01, 2024

Recommending a Favourite Dinosaur Book for Dinosaur Fans

By |2024-03-09T15:01:01+00:00January 7th, 2024|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur videos, Famous Figures, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Whilst preparing a YouTube video on the new for 2024 CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus model, we frequently consulted one of our favourite dinosaur books. “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” by Dr Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura first went into print about ten years ago. It is a comprehensive overview of dinosaurs from Britain. Around a hundred different genera are discussed.

We like this informative book so much that we made a YouTube short about it.

A YouTube short about the book “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” by Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura.

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

Published by Siri Scientific Press this fantastic dinosaur book is available here: Siri Scientific Press.

When on the Siri Scientific Press website, just search for Dean Lomax and you will find the dinosaur book.

Recommending a Favourite Dinosaur Book

The book contains a foreword by the renowned British palaeontologist Professor Paul Barrett. It then outlines the early history of palaeontology in the UK highlighting the contributions of Mary Anning, the Reverend William Buckland and Richard Owen. Chapters are dedicated to different geological periods during the Mesozoic and the reader is taken from the Early Triassic to end of the age of dinosaurs.

Everything Dinosaur’s review of “Dinosaurs of the British Isles”: “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” Reviewed.

Dinosaur Britain - Dinosaurs of the British Isles.
A comprehensive guide to British dinosaurs over 400 pages.

Visit the website of Dr Dean Lomax: Dean Lomax British Palaeontologist.

“Dinosaurs of the British Isles”

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained that they were preparing a video on the CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus figure, and the book provided helpful information. “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” provides a unique account of dinosaur discoveries from the UK. The text and photographs of the fossils associated with Polacanthus foxii proved to be extremely helpful when devising the video script.

The new for 2024 CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Polacanthus is a remarkable dinosaur model. It challenges perceptions concerning this armoured dinosaur. The model is devoid of pre sacral spines and there are spines on the upper arm of the model. Everything Dinosaur team members set out to understand the science behind this prehistoric animal figure.

CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus.
The new for 2024 CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Polacanthus figure.

To view the CollectA Deluxe range of prehistoric animal models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animals.

A Useful Dinosaur Book

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur praised “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” and commented:

“The book is ten years old, but it still provides a detailed overview of the history of British dinosaurs. The beautiful pictures of fossils, particularly those of Polacanthus and other armoured dinosaurs provided invaluable assistance as we prepared our Polacanthus video script.”

The spokesperson went onto add:

“We highly recommend this book, it provides the first, comprehensive account on the dinosaurs of the British Isles.”

Visit the award-winning Everything Dinosaur website: The Website of Everything Dinosaur.

3 06, 2023

Mary Anning Inspires Spectacular Garden Design

By |2024-01-02T20:33:49+00:00June 3rd, 2023|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Famous Figures, Main Page, Photos/Schools|0 Comments

A garden inspired by Mary Anning has won an award at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden created by Sandhurst Garden Design has been awarded a bronze. The award-winning container garden was designed by first-time exhibitors Julie and Andrew Haylock.

Mary Anning garden.
The award-winning Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. A garden inspired by the pioneering palaeontologist from Lyme Regis. The carefully selected plants including specimens of plants similar to those that existed in the Mesozoic is set against a backdrop that reflects the cliffs of Lyme Regis. Picture credit: Rachel Moffett Photography.

The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden

The Yeovil-based garden design business wanted to create a container garden that reflected the work of Mary Anning, highlighting her contribution to the science of palaeontology. The theme for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show is encouraging young people to get involved in gardening. The husband-and-wife design team created an outdoor learning space for primary school students to help them explore nature.

Carved wooden seats for the students and their teacher echo the fern-dominated planting of the garden. Set amongst moss-covered tree stumps planted with Jurassic effect is a replica of a plesiosaur fossil. Mary Anning discovered an almost complete fossil of a plesiosaur in 1823.

Mary Anning Garden
A replica of the skeleton of a plesiosaur can be found in the garden along with the “she sells seashells” verse. Picture credit: Rachel Moffett Photography.

Mary and her family members made several significant and highly influential fossil discoveries. Ichthyosaur remains (another type of marine reptile), were uncovered and in December 1828, the first pterosaur fossil discovery in England was made by Mary Anning.

For models and replicas of plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and pterosaurs visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.

Prehistoric Plants

A variety of plants were incorporated into the outdoor space. Ferns selected include Blechnum spicant,
Dryopteris wallichiana “Jurassic Gold”, Asplenium scolopendrium, and Asplenium trichomanes. An example of the evergreen Pseudopanax crassifolius was included along with the tree fern Dicksonia antarctica.

In addition, a Wollemia Pine specimen featured. This ancient tree lineage is thought to date back to the Early Jurassic. It was believed to be extinct, until a small group of trees was discovered in a deep gorge located in a temperate rainforest in New South Wales. Although commonly referred to as a pine, this tree is a member of the Araucariaceae and more closely related to the Araucaria (Monkey Puzzle Tree).

Mary Anning garden.
A geology hammer and a wicker basket similar to the one used by Mary Anning can be found in the garden. Picture credit: Rachel Moffett Photography.

Providing a Legacy

Stone replica ammonite shells are dotted around the garden and the large crazy paving stones are engraved by the “She Sells Seashells” tongue-twister, which is thought to have been written in honour of Mary Anning.

Having been part of the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the garden will live on. Parts of it are being transplanted to Charmouth Primary School, close to Lyme Regis. Schoolchildren will be able to continue to enjoy elements of the garden and perhaps they may be inspired to follow in Mary’s footsteps.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is a beautiful garden design. We are delighted to hear that it was awarded a bronze medal. Our congratulations to all the people who helped create this inspirational garden.”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the RHS in the compilation of this article.

To visit the website of the garden designers: Sandhurst Garden Design.

12 05, 2023

A Rare and Precious Mary Anning Letter

By |2024-01-02T20:20:34+00:00May 12th, 2023|Dinosaur Fans, Famous Figures, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

A letter from Mary Anning to the Reverend William Buckland forms part of an extensive archive recently purchased by a museum. The Oxford University Museum of Natural History has acquired archive material belonging to pioneering geologist the Reverend William Buckland and his artist and illustrator wife Mary (née Morland). The archive includes a rare Mary Anning letter.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s earlier blog post discussing the Buckland archive: Museum Acquires William Buckland Archive.

Mary Anning Letter
Part of a signed letter from Mary Anning to William Buckland from December 21st 1830. Mary Anning wrote to the Reverend Buckland to inform him about the recent discovery of a plesiosaur fossil. Picture credit: Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

The Mary Anning Letter

As a woman, Mary was largely excluded by the male-dominated scientific community. However, she did know more about fossils, geology and palaeontology compared to many of her gentleman patrons who purchased fossils from her. Only a few documents penned by Mary Anning exist. Pages from Mary Anning’s notebook are on display at the Dorset County Museum. A letter from Mary to William Buckland discussing the plesiosaur discovery forms an important part of the Buckland archive.

Mary in collaboration with family members excavated many extremely important fossil specimens including ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and fish. In December 1828, Mary Anning discovered the first pterosaur fossil reported from England. This specimen was described by the Reverend William Buckland a year later (Dimorphodon macronyx).

To view models and replicas of marine reptiles and pterosaurs: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The Mary Anning letter.
A section of the Mary Anning letter to William Buckland. Picture credit: Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is an important, historical and culturally significant archive. The archive will fit with the Oxford University Museum’s existing collection. It will help to provide a better understanding of the contribution made to science and to scientific debate in the Georgian/Victorian era.”

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.

8 05, 2023

Happy Birthday, Sir David Attenborough!

By |2023-05-03T10:19:18+01:00May 8th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Famous Figures, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Today, is the ninety-seventh birthday of Sir David Attenborough. On behalf of everyone at Everything Dinosaur we would like to wish Sir David “Many Happy Returns”. Over his extraordinary career, this British naturalist and broadcaster has seen the world change in dramatic and astonishing ways.

One huge and very recent development is the advance of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI). To illustrate this, we have asked ChatGPT to write today’s Everything Dinosaur blog post. ChatGPT writing a tribute to Sir David Attenborough.

Honouring Sir David Attenborough
Many Happy Returns Sir David Attenborough!

ChatGPT Pays Tribute to Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough is one of the most beloved broadcasters of all time. His career has spanned over seven decades, and his work has made an incredible impact on our understanding of the natural world. On May 8th, 2023, he will be celebrating his 97th birthday, and it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate his incredible achievements and contributions.

Sir David Attenborough’s broadcasting career began in 1952, when he joined the BBC. He quickly gained a reputation for his exceptional knowledge and skill in presenting natural history programmes. He has since presented a variety of programmes, including Life on Earth, The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Frozen Planet. Each of these programmes has gone on to become hugely popular, and they have had a major impact on our understanding of the natural world.

In addition to his broadcasting work, Sir David Attenborough has also written numerous books and articles on natural history topics. He has also been an active campaigner for environmental conservation. He has spoken out against climate change and the destruction of natural habitats, and he has worked to promote sustainable practices.

Beloved Figure in Conservation and Environmentalism

Sir David Attenborough is one of the most beloved figures in conservation and environmentalism. His decades of work have had a profound impact on the way people think about the environment, inspiring countless others to take action and protect our planet.

Sir David’s passion for the natural world is evident in his work. He is a master storyteller, with the ability to capture both the beauty and fragility of our planet in ways that inspire us to appreciate and protect it. He has used his platform as a natural historian and broadcaster to engage millions of people across the world in conversations around conservation and sustainability.

Our thanks to ChatGPT for creating this short tribute to Sir David Attenborough.

Happy Birthday!

We asked the artificial intelligence software to generate a birthday message.

This is what ChatGPT produced:

“Happy Birthday, Sir David Attenborough! You have truly made a remarkable impact on the world of natural history, and we are so grateful for your immense contributions to the environment. Wishing you a wonderful day filled with joy and happiness!”

Sir David Attenborough.
A gentleman and a scholar.

We could not have put this better ourselves…

This blog post provides a demonstration of the power and scope of GenAI. It is going to change the world, hopefully for the benefit of all humanity.

As for the Everything Dinosaur blog, we will continue to invest our own time and use our own efforts to produce posts. If we utilise artificial intelligence in any future article, we will make sure to inform our readers.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.

5 05, 2023

Museum Acquires Unique William Buckland Archive

By |2024-01-02T20:23:08+00:00May 5th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Famous Figures, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Oxford University Museum of Natural History has completed the purchase of archive material belonging to pioneering geologist the Reverend William Buckland and his wife Mary (née Morland).

This is an important, historical and culturally significant archive that has been acquired by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH). The material which documents the contribution to science by the 19th century theologian and geologist contains over 1,000 items. There are notebooks, family papers, drawings, artworks and letters. The collection is noteworthy as it also highlights the contribution of Buckland’s wife Mary (née Morland). Mary was a talented artist and naturalist.

William Buckland surrounded by fossils.
A portrait of the Reverend William Buckland. Picture credit: Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Funding the Acquisition

The acquisition has been made possible with support from the Friends of the National Libraries, Headley Trust, the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund. Private donors also contributed.

Head of Earth Collections at the OUMNH, Eliza Howlett stated:

“The Museum’s acquisition of a large collection of Buckland papers from private hands is a game-changer for historians of science and others with an interest in the histories of gender, class, and colonialism. Combined with the already large and diverse Oxford collections, the new materials will confirm OUMNH as the epicentre for future research, and we are tremendously grateful to the many trusts and foundations, and to the private individuals, who generously contributed to this purchase.”

This important collection also includes correspondence between Mary Anning and William Buckland about new fossil discoveries. In a letter penned by Mary Anning the famous Lyme Regis resident informs the Reverend William Buckland about the discovery of Plesiosaurus remains.

Mary Anning Letter to William Buckland.
Part of a signed letter from Mary Anning to William Buckland from December 21st 1830, informing him of a plesiosaur skeleton she had recently discovered. Picture credit: Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

William Buckland

William Buckland was a hugely influential figure in academia, religion, politics and science. He successively held the positions of Reader in Mineralogy and Geology at Oxford University; Dean of Westminster and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

He is accredited with the first, formal scientific description of a dinosaur (Megalosaurus bucklandii). This was one of three genera placed into the Dinosauria by Richard Owen in the early 1840s.

The lower jaw of Megalosaurus.
The partial dentary with teeth associated with Megalosaurus bucklandii on display at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view Megalosaurus models and replicas of other prehistoric creatures including dinosaurs: CollectA Prehistoric Life Figures.

The reverend William Buckland also pioneered palaeoecology with is ground-breaking study of an ancient hyena den. Buckland was also a notable convert to glacial theory, and showed how glaciation rather than a global flood shaped the British landscape.

An Insight into the Life of a Pioneering Scientist

This extensive archive reveals aspects of Buckland’s life as a student at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, as well his work as a practising geologist, eminent member of the clergy and university lecturer. Evidence from the archive provides a comprehensive insight into the thinking and institutions of the early 19th century. During this time, the biblical interpretation of creation was being challenged. Material in the archive documents correspondence with major figures such as art critic John Ruskin and prime minister Robert Peel.

William Buckland inspecting a rock formation in Snowdonia, by Thomas Sopwith (October 1841).
A watercolour of the Reverend William Buckland inspecting a rock formation in Snowdonia, by Thomas Sopwith (October 1841). Picture credit: Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Identifying Iconic Artworks

The archive also includes original artworks, such as Thomas Sopwith’s watercolour of William Buckland exploring a rock formation armed with a geological hammer. It had been thought that this artwork portrayed Mary Anning. The collection also includes an exceptionally rare, coloured version of the lithograph based on Henry de la Beche’s drawing Duria Antiquior. The artwork, depicting prehistoric Dorset, is famous for being the first pictorial representation of a scene of prehistoric life based on fossil evidence.

Mary’s Contribution is Recognised

This substantial archive also includes a number of illustrations created by Buckland’s wife Mary (née Morland). Highlights include two of Mary’s sketchbooks. One of these, dating from before her marriage to Buckland, contains exquisite ink and watercolour drawings of natural history specimens, and highlights the huge artistic and scientific contribution she made to her husband’s work.

Mary Morland and an illustration of a jumping mouse.
A watercolour of Dipus canadensis, a jumping mouse from Canada, by Mary Morland circa 1817 from her notebook of specimens. Picture credit: Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Dr Simon Thurley CBE, Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, commented:

“I am delighted the National Heritage Memorial Fund is able to support Oxford University Museum of Natural History to acquire the outstanding Buckland Archive and ensure that the collection remains together and is saved for the nation.”

Uniting the Collections

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is already a significant repository for Buckland’s work. This new archive will fit with the Museum’s existing collection, helping to provide a more complete understanding of the contribution made to science and to scientific debate.

Reuniting these collections both physically and digitally will allow researchers and other museum audiences access to the full spectrum of Buckland material.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in the compilation of this article.

18 03, 2023

The Remarkable Othniel Charles Marsh 1831 – 1899

By |2024-01-02T16:10:00+00:00March 18th, 2023|Dinosaur Fans, Famous Figures, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Today, March 18th, we at Everything Dinosaur commemorate the life of the American palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. The eminent professor and president of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences passed away on this day in 1899.

Othniel Charles Marsh

Regarded as one of the great pioneers of American palaeontology he described more than a dozen new genera of dinosaurs, based on fossils excavated from the Western United States. He was responsible for naming and scientifically describing many of the most famous of all the Dinosauria. Brontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops and Stegosaurus were all named by Marsh.

Natural History Museum (London) - Sophie the Stegosaurus
A view of the anterior of “Sophie” the Stegosaurus stenops specimen on display at the London Natural History Museum. Othniel Charles Marsh named and described the first Stegosaurus species in 1877. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Theropod Dinosaurs, Prehistoric Birds and Pterosaurs

Marsh also named and described the theropod dinosaur Allosaurus (1878), named and described toothed-birds, early horses and studied the first pterosaur fossils known from the USA.

For models and replicas of North American dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

For all his academic and scientific achievements, perhaps O. C. Marsh is best remembered for his bitter rivalry with his fellow American scientist Edward Drinker Cope. A rivalry that became known as the “Bone Wars”.

8 03, 2023

A Time to Celebrate Women in Science

By |2024-01-02T16:14:49+00:00March 8th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Famous Figures, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day for celebrating and commemorating the social, economic, cultural, scientific and political achievements of women. This is a global event and many schools and colleges will be highlighting the contribution made by women, including in the field of scientific endeavour and business.

Celebrating women in science. International women's day.
A collection of women scientists part of a poster montage spotted during a school visit. Celebrating International Women’s Day. Female scientists providing role models for the next generation. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

International Women’s Day

Since the blog started, we have covered some remarkable stories that celebrate the contribution made to Earth Sciences by the next generation of academics and young scientists. We have also taken the opportunity to highlight the contribution to palaeontology and geology made by women who lived in less enlightened times.

For example, over the last few years we have followed the campaign to honour the pioneering early palaeontologist Mary Anning. Inspired by Evie Swire who wanted greater recognition in Lyme Regis of Mary Anning’s contribution to the Earth Sciences, a successful fund raising effort led to the erection of a statue of Mary Anning on the sea front.

Mary Anning Statue Unveiled
A close-view of the statue of Mary Anning which was created by leading artist and sculptress Denise Dutton. Mary is holding an ammonite fossil in her left hand. Picture credit: Mary Anning Rocks.

Picture credit: Mary Anning Rocks

Designed by sculptor Denise Dutton, the bronze figure was unveiled in May 2022.

To read about the statue unveiling ceremony: Mary Anning Statue Unveiled in Lyme Regis.

Everything Dinosaur team members were honoured to have played a small part in helping to support this campaign.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.

4 06, 2022

Mary Anning and the “Sea Dragon”

By |2022-10-21T10:10:56+01:00June 4th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Famous Figures, Main Page, Movie Reviews and Movie News, Photos|0 Comments

The 2022 Cheltenham Science Festival is due to begin on Tuesday, 7th June (2022) and the award-winning director James Morgan’s film “Sea Dragon” will be featured. This delightful short tells the story of Mary Anning’s ground-breaking fossil discovery that challenged the worldview of 19th century England.

The film will be shown as part of Dr Dean Lomax’s presentation entitled “Mary Anning and the Sea Dragons” which is taking place at the Helix Auditorium on the evening of the 8th of June (2022).

Sea Dragon - a natural history heist.
“Sea Dragon” – a natural history heist. The film is directed by James Morgan and produced by Terhi Kylliainen. Starring Kiara Holley-Paliano as Mary Anning, Harvey Dean as Joseph Anning and Nathaniel Parker as Mr Fairfax it tells the story of a fossil discovery in the cliffs along the Dorset coast and the ideological battle that commences when its significance is brought to light. Picture credit: Becklow Films, design by Matt Needle.

A Changing World – A Changing Society

Set in 1812, on the stunningly beautiful Dorset coast, young fossil hunter Mary Anning (played by Kiara Holley-Paliano) finds herself locked in an ideological battle with a devious auctioneer (Nathanial Parker) over the fate of an ichthyosaur fossil specimen.

The auctioneer considers the fossil skull to be from a crocodile, but Mary thinks differently, and our feisty protagonist sets out with her brother Joseph to rescue the specimen. This is the story of a young girl with the courage to challenge convention. A person not prepared to accept the doctrine of the time but to consider the evidence of her own eyes and in a beautifully conceived scene set in a Georgian drawing room, to confront the accepted view of the world.

Mary Anning "Sea Dragon""
Kiara Holley-Paliano as Mary Anning portrayed in the film “Sea Dragon” directed by James Morgan. Picture credit: Becklow Films.

Exploring New Worlds

At its heart, “Sea Dragon” is an archetypal story of how an individual can force society to change. Directed by James Morgan, an award-winning director of film and television, this short film explores new worlds both social and palaeontological. Mary Anning, who rarely received any credit for her discoveries during her lifetime, helped to erode established beliefs about how the world was ordered. She challenged Georgian society. Her contribution to the nascent sciences of palaeontology and geology eroded long held and established views as surely as the Dorset cliffs with their fossil treasures crumble into the sea.

Sea Dragon Movie Poster
Sea Dragon (short, 2021). A young fossil hunter Mary Anning makes a ground-breaking discovery, challenging the worldview of 19th century England. Picture credit: Becklow Films, design by rathbleedart.

Commenting on the significance of this short, Director James Morgan stated:

“I hope the film does justice to the spirit of Mary Anning, and also poses questions about the
assumptions that still lay buried in our own foundations. As the ground continues to move
beneath our feet – we can only hope that we have learnt to listen to the small voice in the
corner of the room. Because small voices with the courage to see things differently are the most
powerful catalysts of positive change.”

Film director James Morgan.
James Morgan the director of the short film “Sea Dragon”. Championing the small voice in the corner of the room. Picture credit: Ben Sadd.

Our thanks to producer Terhi Kylliainen for her assistance in the compilation of this article.

“Sea Dragon” will be shown as part of Dr Dean Lomax’s presentation entitled “Mary Anning and Sea Dragons” at the Cheltenham Science Festival 2022 (Helix Auditorium, 5pm on the 8th of June).

The film website: The Film “Sea Dragon”.

The website of the director: James Morgan Film Director and Photographer.

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