The Bone Wars

From 1877 to 1892, two Paleontologists, Othniel Marsh and Edward Cope, engaged in a competition, with no holds barred. Unscrupulous, ambitious, and mean-spirited, each did his utmost to achieve singularity, collecting and cataloguing fossils from the West. Not pretty in any particular.

And the upshot of all these shenanigans? Both men came to a third-rate ending, ruined and shunned by their peers. But Paleontology was served well in the wealth of samples they claimed from Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.

When things get entirely out of hand, it’s hard to think why all that was necessary.

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