On the News | Mary Anning found and sold Jurassic fossils by the Lyme Regis sea shore @ The Daily Telegraph

On the News @ The Daily Telegraph


Mary Anning found and sold Jurassic fossils by the Lyme Regis sea shore


Portrait of Mary Anning, by B.J. Donne, from 1847.

“YOU probably know the popular tongue twister “she sells sea shells by the sea shore.” But you may not know that this rhyme, taken from a 1908 Terry Sullivan song, was actually inspired by Mary Anning, the woman who collected fossils in Lyme Regis in England in the 19th century.

When Anning died from breast cancer at the age of only 47, 170 years ago today, she was mourned by the world’s scientific establishment, in particular geologists and palaeontologists. Anning was renowned for her fossil discoveries, which helped change the scientific view of prehistoric life.

Mary was born in Lyme Regis, West Dorset, on the southern shore of England in 1799, the oldest surviving daughter of carpenter Richard Anning (an older sister also named Mary had died before Mary was born). When she was only one year old, a local nanny, Elizabeth Hasking, took Anning to see a horse riding show in town. Hasking, who was holding Mary in her arms, was one of three women struck by lightning. Mary appeared to be dead but was revived by a hot bath. According to family legend Mary had been a “dull child” but after the accident she became “lively and intelligent”.” (…) READ MORE

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)