|"Mary Anning" at the Museum of Natural History, London|
|Meeting Mary Anning|
|Ichthyosaur fossil, 203 - 194 million years old. Like reptiles that live on land, ichthyosaurs needed to breathe air. Their nostrils were located in front of their eyes.|
|Ichthyosaur head. The large eye of an ichthyosaur was surrounded by a doughnut-shaped bone called the sclerotic ring. Large eyes enabled ichthyosaurs to see well in dim ocean depths.|
|Plesiosaur skeleton, 203 - 194 million years old. Collected by Mary Anning in 1824.|
|Ammonites from Lyme Regis|
I recently read about Mary Anning in the book, Remarkable Creatures: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier. This fictionalized story of Mary Anning and her relationship with the Philpot sisters who helped promote her work, brings the town of Lyme Regis to life and makes you appreciate the difficulty of fossil collecting and the amazing contribution Mary Anning has made to our understanding of prehistoric life. The book is also a window on the social and religious conventions of the time and how Mary Anning’s fossils challenged many of those ideas.