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Airing On Monday

August 22nd 2016

8:00 pm eastern, 7:00 pm central and 5:00 pm pacific

Fine Art of Paleontology continues with the early Paleontologists, Edward D. Cope and Othniel C. Marsh who were early pioneers in Paleontology. As the United States was recovering from the social and political turmoil of the Civil War, a rivalry emerged in the nascent field of American Paleontology. Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, former friends turned competing paleontologists, began scouring the American West for prehistoric fossil deposits in the hopes of discovering unknown species from the past. While the two scientists came from different backgrounds, their common passion for paleontology and mutual disdain for each other fueled their ambition, ultimately leading to the discovery of over a hundred new species in America. At the same time, their bitter rivalry damaged their reputations and left the two almost penniless at their deaths.

The term “paleontology” was coined just nine years before Othniel Charles Marsh’s birth October 29, 1831 on a farm in Lockport, New York. At the time, it might have seemed hard to predict Marsh’s future as one of America’s leading paleontologists. His mother died when he was three years old, and his father’s only ambition for his son was that he become a field hand on the family farm. Marsh showed interest in science as a boy, and with the encouragement and financial backing of his millionaire uncle George Peabody, he was able to escape the family’s farm, excelling first at Phillips Academy, and then at Yale, and later as a graduate student in Germany.

Read more here > http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/biography/dinosaur-rivalry/

 

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Fine Art of Paleontology – Early Paleontologists-Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh
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