Edward Drinker Cope

Edward Drinker Cope and the Neo-Lamarckian School of Thought

Edward Drinker Cope and the Neo-Lamarckian School of Thought

On July 28, 1840, American paleontologist and comparative anatomist Edward Drinker Cope was born. Being s well as a noted herpetologist and ichthyologist, he was a founder of the Neo-Lamarckism school of thought. This school believed that changes in developmental (embryonic) timing, not natural selection, was the driving force of evolution. Cope thought that groups of species that shared similar developmental patterns could be grouped into more inclusive groups (i.e. genera, families,…
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Fossil Hunter Barnum Brown and the Tyrannosaurus Rex

Fossil Hunter Barnum Brown and the Tyrannosaurus Rex

On February 12, 1873, paleontologist Barnum Brown was born. He is best known for his discovery of the first documented remains of Tyrannosaurus rex during a career that made him one of the most famous fossil hunters working from the late Victorian era into the early 20th century. Fossil Hunter Barnum Brown Brown was named after the circus entrepreneur P. T. Barnum. He began studying at the University of Kansas in 1890, but…
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Othniel Charles Marsh and the Great Bone Wars

Othniel Charles Marsh and the Great Bone Wars

O.C. Marsh (back row and center), surrounded by armed assistants for his 1872 expedition. On October 29, 1831, American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh was born. Being one of the preeminent scientists in the field, he discovered over 1000 fossils and contributed greatly to knowledge of extinct North American vertebrates. From the 1870s to 1890s he competed with rival paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope in a period of frenzied Western American expeditions known as…
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Meet Sue, the Dinosaur

Meet Sue, the Dinosaur

Usually, in our articles we focus on a person, a development, an invention, or an decisive moment in history. Today, a long dead animal will be the protagonist of our post. But, it’s the story of an extraordinary finding. On August 12, 1990, Sue, largest, most extensive and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever found found up to date, was discovered by Sue Hendrickson in South Dakota. Sure, all kids love dinosaurs. When I was…
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