In this episode, we learn about Mary Anning, one of the most famous female paleontologists to ever live. She made many great discoveries, including dinosaur poop! She was among the first to identify that strange fossil rocks were actually fossilized feces. Although Anning wasn't allowed to join the scientific clubs that would give her credit for her discoveries, she was recognized and respected as the best fossil hunter in England. Many scientists visited with her and discussed ideas about dinosaurs.
This is one of the most famous portraits of Mary Anning. She has a rock hammer in her hand, and she's pointing to her little dog, Tray. They would go out every morning to walk along the beaches of Lyme Regis, in hopes that waves or landslides revealed new fossils in the eroding cliffs.
Today, Mary Anning is recognized as one of the most famous historical women in science. Her work paved the way for today's female paleontologists, like coprolite expert Karen Chin (featured in our first dinosaur poop episode).
There are many books you can read to find out more about Mary Anning. Here are a few:
But Mary Anning wasn't the only female pioneer in paleontology. You can read short biographies about the women we mentioned at the end of the episode on this awesome website, Trowelblazers.com:
Trowelblazers is always updating with new articles about women working in paleontology, of the past and present. Explore them all HERE and then email us to tell us who your new favorite female paleontologist is, and why! We'll feature them on our Facebook page and Instagram.
Did you wonder when the Geological Society FINALLY allowed women to join? It wasn't until May 1919, almost 60 years after Mary Anning died. Here's the story of how it happened.
We think Mary Anning's story is best captured in this clever cartoon by Kate Beaton:
One more thing!! If you loved Riley aka the Kidosaurus' introduction to Mary Anning at the beginning of this episode, you should check out his podcast!
You can find it on his website, or listen on the Kids Listen app!