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Fossil hunters assemble! New Mary Anning exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum

Yorkshire Museum

There’s something really exciting about fossils, so we’re really excited about a new exhibition heading to The Yorkshire Museum this summer, celebrating history’s unsung hero and fossil hunter, Mary Anning. ‘Mary Anning Rocks’ opens on 14th July 2023 and will celebrate the inspiring story of the renowned palaeontologist. Best known for discovering Jurassic marine fossils in Lyme Regis on the south-west coast, this family-friendly exhibition will introduce Mary Anning (1799 – 1847) and tell the story of how she changed the way we view the natural world. Based in the award-winning Jurassic galleries, her story will begin alongside a striking statue of the fossil-hunter.

Who was Mary Anning?

Mary Anning yorkshire museum

Mary Anning was an ordinary person who found fossils in her local area, and even though she was working class and a woman – both cause for discrimination at the time – she became one of the most significant scientists of the day. She’s globally known for discovering what was later confirmed as the first ichthyosaur skeleton when she was 13 years old, and an almost complete plesiosaur skeleton later in her career. Impressive, huh?

Visitors will be able to read and learn about Mary Anning’s Jurassic discoveries, and then view the Yorkshire Museum’s Giant Ichthyosaur. At over 180 million years old the incredible specimen was found near Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. This specific Ichthyosaur is particularly large, measuring around eight metres, making it one of the biggest ever discovered in Britain.

Exhibition details for families

The Mary Anning exhibition will run at The Yorkshire Museum throughout York’s summer holidays (find lots of other fun things to do during the summer holidays in York here), with a packed programme of family activities, self-led trails and events running throughout, including the opportunity to meet Mary Anning herself! On select dates Mary Anning will visit the Yorkshire Museum where she’ll be on hand to answer any questions and to tell her inspiring story. The Yorkshire Museum is always a great place to visit with kids, and one of our top picks for families in York – read our review to find out why.

Mary Anning Rocks will be open from 14th July to 20th September 2023, and will be included within general admission. To find out more and book tickets visit www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk

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