Cover image for Battle of the dinosaur bones : Othniel Charles Marsh vs. Edward Drinker Cope
Title:
Battle of the dinosaur bones : Othniel Charles Marsh vs. Edward Drinker Cope
ISBN:
9780761354888
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Twenty-First Century Books, c2013.
Physical Description:
64 p. : ill., plates, charts ; 23 cm.
Contents:
A bitter rivalry -- Competition -- Bridger Basin -- Distant enemies -- Monster bones -- Final confrontation.
Reading Level:
1020 L Lexile
Summary:
Darwin's theory of evolution, published in 1859, shook up the field of paleontology, the study of ancient plants and animals. Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, enthralled with these new ideas, discoveries, and developments, became determined to become world-famous paleontologists. When they met in 1863, they started off as friends. But within a few years, competition drove them apart. Each fought bitterly to discover more fossils, name more species, and publish more papers than the other. In their haste to outdo each other, they both produced some shoddy work. The resulting confusion took many years to correct, and their toxic relationship crippled the field of paleontology for decades afterward. However, the competition also produced a wealth of fossils, laying a firm foundation for future paleontologists and supporting Darwin's theory, as well as generating keen public interest in prehistoric life.--From publisher description.
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Summary

Summary

In the 1880s, science witnessed a major shift: Charles Darwin proposed his theory of evolution. People dug up the first dinosaur fossils. And the field of paleontology--the study of ancient plants and animals--emerged.

Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope became enthralled with these new ideas, discoveries, and developments. Both were determined to become world-famous paleontologists. When they met in 1863, they started off as friends. But within a few years, competition drove the men apart. Each fought bitterly to discover more fossils, name more species, and publish more papers than the other. In their haste to outdo each other, they both produced some shoddy work. The resulting confusion took many years to discover and correct, and their toxic relationship crippled the field of paleontology for decades afterward.

However, the competition also produced a wealth of fossils. These laid a firm foundation for the field of paleontology and supported Darwin's theory of evolution. Marsh's and Cope's discoveries generated keen public interest in prehistoric life and rich data for future generations of paleontologists. This book explores the great rivalry between Marsh and Cope, showing how it brought out the best and the worst in them--while bringing humankind a brand-new view of life on Earth.


Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-These books showcase major scientific developments and the brutal competition behind the scenes. They are highly engaging accounts of researchers resorting to cheap shots, spying, and double crossing to take credit for pivotal discoveries. But they are also disturbing documentation of how ego can trump the greater good, as in the battle between Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo over the discovery of the virus that causes AIDS. Proprietary arguments and fraud delayed progress in its identification, which undoubtedly came at the cost of lives. Written cleanly and fluidly, these titles let the drama and occasional absurdity of the players' actions speak for themselves. Captioned photographs and diagrams correspond well to the texts, while sidebars contribute additional facts. In-depth time lines are the most noteworthy of the strong supplementary features. This fascinating set would be equally useful in history and science classrooms. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

This entry in the Scientific Rivalries and Scandals series focuses on the bitter antagonism between two pioneering nineteenth-century paleontologists, Marsh and Cope. Their contentious rivalry to discover the largest and most unusual dinosaur fossils of the American West became know as the Bone Wars and was at the forefront of American science for decades. The moral of the story is clear, revealing how rivalry can be positive and detrimental. Both Marsh and Cope made several important discoveries in the race to preeminence, but they also made critical classification errors in their haste. Packed with photos, maps, and diagrams, this orange-and-gray-heavy book emphasizes the importance of the scientific method on evaluating hypotheses and the misconceptions that arise with shoddy research. Dinosaurs are a topic of interest for many kids, and this well-researched book provides a rare glimpse into the historiography of biological science via a strongly narrative style.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2010 Booklist


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 A Bitter Rivalryp. 4
Chapter 2 Competitionp. 12
Chapter 3 Bridger Basinp. 22
Chapter 4 Distant Enemiesp. 30
Chapter 5 Monster Bonesp. 38
Chapter 6 Final Confrontationp. 48
Timelinep. 56
Glossaryp. 57
Source Notesp. 58
Selected Bibliographyp. 59
Further Informationp. 60
Indexp. 62