Mary Anning was a 19th century paleontologist, living in the town of Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK. She was a remarkable woman, crossing boundaries of gender and class to make some important contributions to her field.
Mary Anning was the daughter of a cabinet maker, who collected and sold fossils to tourists on the side. When Mary was 12, she and her brother Joseph discovered the remains of the first ichthyosaur. She also found the first two two plesiosaur skeletons and the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany. She was also the first person to suggest that coprolites were fossilized feces, and compared the anatomy of modern day squids to determine that belemnites also had ink sacs.
Sadly during her lifetime, Mary was not credited for much of her work. Her insights on coprolites and belmnites were published by her friend, William Buckland, who at least credited her by name when he presented the idea to the Geological Society, but most of her fossil finds were not credited to her by the gentlemen scientists who described them in scientific papers.