Mary Anning's Fossil Extraction Tool

Contributed by Lyme Regis Philpot Museum

Mary Anning's Fossil Extraction Tool, copyright Lyme Regis Philpot Museum Trust

This tool was used by Mary Anning, whose discoveries changed our understanding of the world and its evolution.This primitive tool belonged to Mary Anning (1799-1847), a self-educated, working-class woman from Lyme Regis and the greatest fossil hunter ever known. With her brother she found the first complete Ichthyosaur in 1810-1811 and over the years further sensational finds were made. New, more complete skeletons of ichthyosaurs were discovered, followed by a complete skeleton of the long-necked Plesiosaurus, the 'sea-dragon' in 1823. This was followed by the 'flying-dragon' Pterodactylus in 1828 and others. Mary's discoveries were some of the most significant geological finds of all time. They provided evidence central to the development of new ideas about the history of the Earth. She played a key role in informing the work of her learned, male contemporaries, notably William Buckland, Henry de la Beche and William Conybeare. By the time of her death, geology was firmly established as its own scientific discipline.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 18:52 on 3 May 2010, Literary Lyme Walking Tours wrote:

    Have a look at the Mary Anning tours, run by the museum

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