Dean Lomax: Unearthing a 180-million-year-old sea dragon Known now as the mother of paleontology, Mary Anning's work was largely overlooked. But her research helped paleontologist Dean R. Lomax make groundbreaking discoveries about the ichthyosaur.

Unearthing a 180-million-year-old sea creature

Unearthing a 180-million-year-old sea creature

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A posthumous painting of Anning by B. J. Donne from 1847 B.J. Donne/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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B.J. Donne/Wikimedia Commons

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Animal Enigmas

Known now as the mother of paleontology, Mary Anning's work was largely overlooked. But her research helped paleontologist Dean R. Lomax make groundbreaking discoveries about the ichthyosaur.

About Dean R. Lomax

Dean R. Lomax is a paleontologist and a leading world expert on ichthyosaurs (extinct marine reptiles). He has studied thousands of fossils, discovered five new species and led the excavation of the "Rutland Sea Dragon" in 2021, a 10-meter-long giant ichthyosaur considered one of the greatest finds in British paleontological history. Despite never doing an undergraduate degree, Lomax completed a Masters and a PhD at the University of Manchester, where he is currently a visiting scientist. In just over a decade of working in the field, he has published more than 50 academic papers, written more than 10 books, co-hosted TV shows and led major excavations. His most recent book, Locked in Time, examines some of the most astonishing fossils ever found, each of which offers an unprecedented glimpse at the real-life behaviors of prehistoric animals.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by James Delahoussaye and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.