Fossil Puzzles

If anyone has spent the Christmas holidays piecing together a model or kit you may have some sympathy for Victorian palaeontologist Mary Anning.

Fossil collector Mary learned much from her father about how the beaches around Lyme Regis might reveal the fossilised remains of prehistoric creatures. Mr Anning died when Mary was 11 and the family became almost destitute.  Mary worked hard to teach herself the science behind her finds and became a leading figure in the field.

Her first large scale discovery at 12 years old was a 17 foot long ichthyosaur skeleton.  At 24 Mary found and reconstructed a plesiosaur (marine reptile) confidently using her self taught knowledge to piece together the bones of the fossilised creature.


Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus from Conyweare’s 1824 paper that described an almost complete plesiosaur skeleton found by Mary Anning in 1823

So when you visit Dippy the Diplodocus when it reaches Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (@BM_AG) in 2018 take some time to marvel at the skill it takes to piece together a fossil jigsaw.

Victorians, Mary Anning and Dinosaur history sessions are all available with Mrs History.  Contact us at


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