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Happy birthday to O. C. Marsh!

by Anonymous on Oct. 29th, 2014

Paleontologist O.C. Marsh
Paleontologist O.C. MarshCourtesy Mark Ryan
Paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh was born this day, October 29th, 183 years ago. Marsh (who preferred to be addressed as O.C.) rose to scientific fame with the help of his wealthy uncle, George Peabody, who set his nephew up as the first professor of paleontology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. O. C. Marsh (middle standing): with student members of 1870 Yale fossil expedition
O. C. Marsh (middle standing): with student members of 1870 Yale fossil expeditionCourtesy Public domain via Wikipedia Commons
During the late 19th century, Marsh led several expeditions and employed several field collectors across the American West helping him build a huge collection of fossils for the Peabody Museum of Natural History on the Yale campus. His part in the famous "Bone Wars" waged both in the press and in the field against his former friend - and later bitter rival - Edward Drinker Cope of Philadelphia amassed a tremendous amount of scientific knowledge and fossils regarding dinosaurs, reptiles, and early mammals. During his lifetime, Marsh wrote more than 300 papers and books, and described more than 500 new species of prehistoric animals. He also served as the vertebrate paleontologist for the U.S. Geological Survey from 1882-1892. The great paleontologist died in 1899.

Bio of Marsh on Yale website