Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Heroines of Science

Mary Anning was neither educated nor a member of the upper class, but she was intelligent and more capable as a fossil hunter than any living man. It was said that she could pick out a rock that contained a fossil from among 50 boulders. She found vast numbers of coproliths, or lumps of fossilized dinosaur dung. A collector described her as someone who would comb over "the foreboding, steep cliffs, even when the raging spring tide conspired with the howling storm winds." Her ventures proved to be the undoing of her dog Tray, who was killed by a falling rock.