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Othniel Charles Marsh

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Othniel Charles Marsh - Brady-Handy

Othniel Charles Marsh (October 29, 1831 – March 18, 1899) was a famous American Palaeontologist of the Victorian era, and archrival to the other main palaeontological star in America at the time, Edward Drinker Cope

Their bitter rivarly was what discovered a large number of famous dinosaurs, from Allosaurus to Diplodocus, from Stegosaurus to Apatosaurus (this going hand in hand with the complex confusion over the erroneously described Brontosaurus). They had genuinely become so fiercely opposed, that their competition to find the biggest and best dinosaurs, and in the greatest numbers, even saw their paid workmen (not so far away from cowboys) take potshots at each other, take pick axes and even dynamite to destroy each others fossils in spite, and some theft. It was called the 'Bone Wars', perhaps the oddest and equally most shameful episode in the history of palaeontology. That said, it did churn out dozens of now classic species. It can be said that Othniel Charles Marsh was the 'victor' of the competition, as while he simply discovered more than E.D Cope, and named more, (80 total) and his fame and reputation only strengthened by and large, E.D Cope's career took a steep downturn and he was sidelined, even becoming somewhat untrusted as a serious scientist, with ever more erratic ideas. Othniel C.M  was always his nemesis. Marsh died in 1899 as a result of pneumonia.

Trivia

  • In total, Marsh and Cope discovered and named around 136 prehistoric animals.
  • Marsh hated the name 'Othniel', calling himself "Charles Marsh".
  • Marsh was reputed to be a quarreller.

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