She Sells Sea Shells: The Story of Mary Anning’s Fossils


Wednesday January 25, 6pm at The Buffalo History Museum

By Dr. Phil Stokes, Executive Director, Penn Dixie

Life in England in the early 19th century was tough. Very few children survived to adulthood, especially those living in poverty. Mary Anning, born 1799, spent her youth searching for fossils along the Lyme Regis coast in southern England. After her father’s death, Mary’s fossil collecting became the main source of income for her family. At the age of 12, Mary uncovered the world’s first ichthyosaur, which was a previously unknown animal whose discovery paved the way for our understanding of extinction. Mary continued to unearth new and amazing fossils, though her status as a woman — and lower class citizen — ensured that Mary received no credit for her discoveries.

This talk will examine Mary’s discoveries and illustrate the surprising connections between the ancient histories of southern England and Buffalo, NY.

Talk included with The Buffalo History Museum admission. For more info, visit The Buffalo History Museum’s website.