By the end of the 1800s, the relatively new science paleontology had come a long way, with new discoveries in the field making the careers of scientists willing to get their hand dirty with a little digging. Into this boom time came two brilliant American brilliant paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, who dedicated their careers to two things: the discovery of new ancient creatures and absolutely destroying each other’s reputations. In the resulting “Bone Wars” the two men battled to outdo each other, bickering and badmouthing the whole time. Eventually they were both financially and socially ruined… but they had also amassed a amazing volume of work driven by their intense competition and vitriol: tremendous fossil collections, dozens of new species of dinosaurs identified by each man, and enormous contributions to the body of knowledge in their field. These derpy dinosaurs are from Edward Cope’s 1870 description of fossils found near New Jersey.
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