Mary Anning lived during the early 1800's. Women were seldom allowed to go to University. Mary learned the technique of fossil hunting from her father and continued to look for them with her brother after her father died. Joseph, her brother, finally decided to follow another path. Mary continued her interest in fossils by asking questions, reading, and studying fossils. She was very poor and sold her fossils to help pay the rent and buy food. Mary received little credit for her work at the time, but letters, journals and scientific articles from her time have helped us know about her.
Date read: 2/8/2010
Ivy and Bean Fans May Like This One!
, grade 18
Fans of Ivy and Bean may know of Mary Anning from the book Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record. There, she is introduced as the first person in the world to find an entire ichthyosaur fossil when she was only twelve years old (her brother actually discovered the skull, and she found the rest of the fossil). She went on to find many other important fossils, including several plesiosaurs, a pterosaur, and a chimaera. The information in Ivy and Bean varies somewhat from the information about Mary Anning in the biography. This may be because, as the biography notes, it has been difficult to piece together an accurate picture of Mary's life from historical information about her, since she didn't receive much recognition for the work she did in her lifetime. As a woman in the 1800s, it was hard to earn respect from the scientific community. This account, which has many helpful illustrations, tells us how Mary came to be a fossil hunter and about the many important fossils she discovered in her lifetime.