Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bone Wars

Today's featured article on Wikipedia is 'Bone Wars' -

...the name given to a period of intense fossil speculation and discovery during the late 1800's marked by a heated rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. Each of the two paleontologists used underhanded methods to out-compete the other in the field, resorting to bribery, theft, and destruction of bones. The scientists also attacked each other in scientific publications, attempting to ruin the other's credibility and cut off his funding.

Cope and Marsh were financially and socially ruined by their attempts to disgrace each other, but their contributions to science and the field of paleontology were significant, and it provided substantial material for further work—both scientists left behind many unopened boxes of fossils after their deaths. The efforts of the two men led to over 142 new species of dinosaurs being discovered and described. The products of the Bone Wars resulted in an increase in knowledge of ancient life, and sparked the public's interest in dinosaurs, leading to continued fossil excavation in North America in the decades to follow.

Blast from the past:
High-performing males have underachieving daughters

No comments: