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Mary Anning Sells Seashells

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She sells seashells by the seashore. The shells she sells are seashells I’m sure, so if she sells seashells on the seashore, then I’m sure she sells seashore shells. Some claim that this tongue twister is about the early life of 19th-century English paleontologist Mary Anning. Although there’s scant evidence to back up the notion that this ditty was inspired by Anning’s job selling fossils and other curios in a seaside town, it’s a good excuse to dig deeper into the life of this remarkable woman. Despite her pioneering contributions to the field of paleontology, Anning received little recognition during her lifetime. Eventually, though, the Royal Society would include her in a list of the ten most influential British women in the history of science. This is part of a complete episode.

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