The first female to find a fossil was a young girl named Mary Anning. She was born in 1799 in Lyme Regis, West Dorset. Mary’s family were very poor so her father taught her how to find and clean fossils in order to sell them.
When Mary was 12 years old she and her brother Joseph found a fossil of an Ichthysaurus, a marine reptile which swum in prehistoric seas. This discovery made Mary famous and she went on to find many more fossils, including a complete plesiosaurus and the first British discovery of a pterodactyl.
Mary set up a shop and sold her fossils to museums and collectors in countries all around the world. Many of the fossils Mary discovered can be found in the Natural History Museum in London.
One of the funny quirky things that Mary did was when she found a fossil she would make a dog sit beside it to mark the spot until she could find someone to help her dig it up.
Also the famous tongue twister written by Terry Sullivan in 1908 ‘She sells, seashells on the sea shore’ was actually written about Mary Anning and her fossil selling shop.