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  • You've all probably heard or stumbled over the famous tongue twister...

  • Sea shells... no. she sells she's... oh.

  • She sells seashells by the seashore.

  • She sells seashells by the seashore.

  • She shells...

  • You get it.

  • Those six words tell a little known story about the early days of paleontology and one

  • of its most important and influential participants; Mary Anning.

  • But, first, let's start here, withthe seashore.”

  • This seashore is actually a 95 mile stretch of shoreline in Dorset County, UK, that is

  • impressively nicknamed The Jurassic Coast.

  • It's the only place in the world that shows a complete 185 million year slice of history

  • as seen in the layers of its towering cliffs.

  • The rocks and beaches are full of fossils and remains not only from the Jurassic, but

  • also the Triassic and Cretaceous.

  • And it was here, in the early 19th century, where we started to realize that not only

  • was there such a thing asmillions of years ago,” but that once upon a timethere

  • were such things as dinosaurs.

  • And one of the people who helped us figure this out is theshein this tongue twister.

  • Mary Anning was born and raised in the Dorset area, and from an early age she collected

  • and sold fossils, that, yes, were kind of like seashells.

  • After her father died when Mary was just 10 years old, she continued to help support her

  • family by finding, identifying and selling fossils to collectors and tourists.

  • But in doing so, she started finding things that changed the way we look at the history

  • of our planet.

  • Before the age of 13, Mary unearthed one of the first ichthyosaur skeletons ever discovered.

  • She also found the first complete plesiosaur, the first pterosaur found outside of Germany,

  • and helped first identify fossilized dino poop which is now called coprolite.

  • A lot of these discoveries made people question the world they knew.

  • It gave rise to the idea of extinctions; these giant reptiles obviously existed at one time,

  • but now don't.

  • That was a new concept.

  • Basically, because of what she found and how that influenced our understanding of science,

  • it's safe to say that Mary is one of history's best and most important fossil hunters.

  • But, even though Mary Anning was one the great science minds of her time, she faced a lot

  • of challenges as a woman in the 19th century who was not affluent nor formally educated.

  • She was embraced by many members of the science community, including prominent professors,

  • lecturers, geologists, naturalists, paleontologists and anatomists, but was still left on the

  • outside looking in.

  • Women were not allowed to attend university, join many prominent science organizations,

  • hold office or vote.

  • So, it comes as no surprise that she was never able to publish her findings and was not always

  • properly credited with her discoveries.

  • And without proper documentation, history has a tendency to forget.

  • Which is why, today, one of the only ways people around the world are familiar with

  • Mary Anning and her work is a tongue twister that just doesn't tell the whole story.

  • So maybe instead we should be teaching our children about Mary, voted one of the 10 most

  • important British woman scientists of all time, by saying this three times fast:

  • Anning unearths ichthyosaurs on the Dorset coast.

  • Anning unearths ichthyosaurs on the Dorset coast.

  • Anning unearths ichthyosaurs...

  • You get it.

  • If you're not yet over dinosaurs, you should watch this video right here, because some

  • nerds made a tiny tweak to the dino family tree, and upheaval happened.

  • Again, video, watch it.

  • Do you think there are other scientists that need more credit?

  • Let us know down in the comments, make sure you subscribe for more Seeker, and thanks

  • for watching.

You've all probably heard or stumbled over the famous tongue twister...

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This Famous Tongue Twister Is Actually About Dinosaurs

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/17
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