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And in other auspicious birthdays…

Mary Anning (1799–1847). No, no…that’s not Mary Anning in the picture. That there’s an ichthyosaur. She found it, and many others like it. She made a thumping contribution to the early days of dinosaurology but, being poor and a girl, didn’t get much credit for it in life.

I hate to play the wahmen in science card, but for once it’s true.

Her father was an ‘umble carpenter and died when she was 11, after which she and her brother scavenged junk on the beach to sell. That’s when she discovered Lyme Regis is stuffed with fossils. I mean, people barely knew what fossils were at that point; she and her brother thought they’d found an alligator skeleton.

But she soon got good. She had a knack, and fossils became big business. Not big enough, though – she scraped along in poverty her whole life and died a miserable death of breast cancer at the age of 47. She made many important discoveries, anyhow, and eventually got some well-deserved recognition. Posthumously. For what it’s worth.

OH! And she’s believed to be the inspiration for “she sells sea shells by the sea shore.” So there’s that.

May 22, 2019 — 6:52 pm
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