The Bone Wars
Their mutual loathing became public in January 1890 when the two combatants aired their differences in the New York Herald. Cope accused Marsh of stealing fossils and plagiarism. Marsh shot back that in 1869 Cope had erroneously placed the head on the tail end of an elasmosaurus skeleton. Ironically, Marsh had discretely pointed this out to Cope at that time, sparking the feud that lasted their lifetime.
Epilogue: The Bone Wars ended in 1897 with Cope’s death, but not before both had exhausted their fortunes. Prior to 1870, nine species of North American dinosaurs had been classified. Between 1870 and 1897, Cope and Marsh classified 136 new species, much of the time behaving like a couple of kids.
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