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Anning, depicted with her dog
Anning, depicted with her dog

Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector and palaeontologist. She made discoveries of Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel at Lyme Regis, which changed the scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth. Her discoveries included the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton, the first two nearly complete plesiosaur skeletons, and the first pterosaur skeleton outside Germany. Her observations helped prove that coprolites were fossilised faeces and that belemnite fossils contained ink sacs. As a woman, Anning could not join the Geological Society of London and struggled to receive credit for her contributions. Henry De la Beche painted Duria Antiquior based on fossils Anning had found and sold its prints for her benefit. After her death, an article about her life was published in Charles Dickens's literary magazine All the Year Round. A statue of Anning was erected in 2022, and she has been depicted in film and in manga. (Full article...)

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2nd-century BC fortified gate at Horvat 'Eqed
2nd-century BC fortified gate at Horvat 'Eqed

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Ebrahim Raisi in 2023
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May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Richard Loeb (left) and Nathan Leopold (right)
Richard Loeb (left) and Nathan Leopold (right)
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Five views of a Viviparus georgianus shell

Viviparus georgianus, commonly known as the banded mystery snail, is a species of large freshwater snail in the family Viviparidae, the river snails. It is native to North America, generally found from the northeastern United States to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and thrives in eutrophic lentic environments such as lakes, ponds and some low-flow streams. The snail has two distinct sexes and reproduces more than once in a lifetime, with females laying eggs singly in albumen-filled capsules. It feeds on diatom clusters found on silt and mud substrates, but it may also require the ingestion of some grit to be able to break down algae. This image shows five views of a 2.1 cm high (0.83 in) V. georgianus shell, originally collected in the U.S. state of Georgia and now in the collection of the State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe in Germany.

Photograph credit: H. Zell

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