Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Fossil stamps highlight discoveries of Mary Anning
ROYAL Mail has launched ten limited edition stamps to mark the 200th anniversary of dinosaur fossil discoveries in the UK – highlighting discoveries by Mary Anning.
The Ichthyosaurus, the Plesiosaurus and the Dimorphodon were all first discovered by Mary Anning on the beaches of Lyme Regis at the beginning of the 19th century, and their fossilised remains can still be found along the Jurassic Coast today.
Even though they are marine reptiles, all three have been dedicated their own stamp in the collection, which is available from the Lyme Regis post office.
Veteran broadcaster and patron of Lyme Regis Museum Sir David Attenborough has backed the launch.
He said: “The sheer size and variety of these extinct reptiles captivates people of all ages and inspires children’s imaginations. They are perennially popular and have inspired countless books, films and television series. These stamps are a wonderful reminder of the majestic creatures that once roamed what is now Great Britain hundreds of millions of years ago.”
Mary Anning and her brother Joseph discovered the first ever Ichthyosaurus in 1811 on the beaches between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. Mary continued to find fossilised remains of the Ichthyosaurus during the next ten years, before discovering the Plesiosaurus in the winter of 1828.
David Tucker, curator at Lyme Regis museum, said he was delighted the Royal Mail had commemorated Anning’s finds in the stamp collection.
Mr Tucker said: “The collection is very interesting and shows the very strong local connection in marine reptile fossil discovery and I’m delighted they have chosen three of Anning’s discoveries. I will certainly be getting some of the stamps, and I am very pleased to see them.”
Fossils are often found on the Jurassic Coast and Mr Tucker urged caution to those who might be inspired by the stamps to go fossil hunting.
Mr Tucker added: “I urge anybody who wishes to go fossil hunting to be incredibly careful when doing so. Make sure you are aware of the tide times and do not go by the base of the cliffs as it can be dangerous.”