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217-The Bone Wars

By Greg and Sharon Ross

The end of the Civil War opened a new era of fossil hunting in the American West -- and a bitter feud between two rival paleontologists, who spent 20 years sabotaging one another in a constant struggle for supremacy. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of the Bone Wars, the greatest scientific feud of the 19th century. We'll also sympathize with Scunthorpe and puzzle over why a driver can't drive. Intro: Nepal's constitution contains instructions for drawing its flag. The tombstone of Constanze Mozart's second husband calls him "the husband of Mozart's widow." Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope. Sources for our feature on the Bone Wars: David Rains Wallace, The Bonehunters' Revenge, 1999. Mark Jaffe, The Gilded Dinosaur, 2000. Elizabeth Noble Shor, The Fossil Feud, 1974. Hal Hellman, Great Feuds in Science, 1998. Tom Huntington, "The Great Feud," American History 33:3 (August 1998), 14. Richard A. Kissel, "The Sauropod Chronicles," Natural History 116:3 (April 2007), 34-38. Keith Stewart Thomson, "Marginalia: Dinosaurs as a Cultural Phenomenon," American Scientist 93:3 (May-June 2005), 212-214. Genevieve Rajewski, "Where Dinosaurs Roamed," Smithsonian 39:2 (May 2008), 20-24. James Penick Jr., "Professor Cope vs. Professor Marsh," American Heritage 22:5 (August 1971). Alfred S. Romer, "Cope versus Marsh," Systematic Zoology 13:4 (December 1964), 201-207. Renee Clary, James Wandersee, and Amy Carpinelli, "The Great Dinosaur Feud: Science Against All Odds," Science Scope 32:2 (October 2008), 34-40. Susan West, "Dinosaur Head Hunt," Science News 116:18 (Nov. 3, 1979), 314-315. P.D. Brinkman, "Edward Drinker Cope's Final Feud," Archives of Natural History 43:2 (October 2016), 305-320. Eric J. Hilton, Joseph C. Mitchell and David G. Smith, "Edward Drinker Cope (1840–1897): Naturalist, Namesake, Icon," Copeia 2014:4 (December 2014), 747-761. John Koster, "Good to the Old Bones: Dreaming of Dinosaurs, Digging for Dollars," Wild West 25:2 (August 2012), 26-27. Daniel Engber, "Bone Thugs-N-Disharmony," Slate, Aug. 7, 2013. Walter H. Wheeler, "The Uintatheres and the Cope-Marsh War," Science, New Series 131:3408 (April 22, 1960), 1171-1176. Lukas Rieppel, "Prospecting for Dinosaurs on the Mining Frontier: The Value of Information in America's Gilded Age," Social Studies of Science 45:2 (2015), 161-186. Michael J. Benton, "Naming Dinosaur Species: The Performance of Prolific Authors," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30:5 (2010), 1478-1485. Cary Woodruff and John R. Foster, "The Fragile Legacy of Amphicoelias fragillimus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda; Morrison Formation-Latest Jurassic)," PeerJ PrePrints 3 (2014), e838v1. Paul Semonin, "Empire and Extinction: The Dinosaur as a Metaphor for Dominance in Prehistoric Nature," Leonardo 30:3 (1997), 171-182. Jennie Erin Smith, "When Fossil-Finding Was a Contact Sport," Wall Street Journal Asia, June 10, 2016, A.11. Adam Lusher, "The Brontosaurus Is Back After 150 Million Years... At Least in Name," Independent, April 8, 2015, 10. Will Bagley, "Rivals Fought Tooth and Nail Over Dinosaurs," Salt Lake Tribune, March 25, 2001, B1. Clive Coy, "Skeletons in the Closet," Ontario National Post, Jan. 22, 2000, 10. Rose DeWolf, "Philly Is Facile With Fossils," Philadelphia Daily News, March 27, 1998, D.6. Mark Jaffe, "Phila. and Fossils Go Way Back," Philadelphia Inquirer, March 22, 1998, 2. Malcolm W. Browne, "Dinosaurs Still Star in Many Human Dramas and Dreams," New York Times, Oct. 14, 1997. John Noble Wilford, "Horses, Mollusks and the Evolution of Bigness," New York Times, Jan. 21, 1997. Jerry E. Bishop, "Bones of Contention: Should Dr. Cope's Be The Human Model?" Wall Street Journal, Nov. 1, 1994, A1. "Dinosaur Book Has Museum Aide Losing His Head," Baltimore Sun, Oct. 17, 1994, 6A. "The Bricks of Scholarship," New York Times, Jan. 21, 1988. Dick Pothier, "Fossil Factions: Dinosaur Exhibit Points Out a Battle in Science," Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 9, 1986, B.14. Rose DeWolf, "Dinosaurs: Bone in the USA," Philadelphia Daily News, Jan. 24, 1986, 52. William Harper Davis, "Cope, a Master Pioneer of American Paleontology," New York Times, July 5, 1931. George Gaylord Simpson, "Mammals Were Humble When Dinosaurs Roved," New York Times, Oct. 18, 1925. "A Prehistoric Monster," Hartford Republican, Sept. 1, 1905. "The Scientists' New President," Topeka State Journal, Oct. 9, 1895. Listener mail: David Mack, "This Woman With a 'Rude' Last Name Started the Best Thread on Twitter," BuzzFeed News, Aug. 29, 2018. Natalie Weiner, Twitter, Sept. 6, 2018. Wikipedia, "Scunthorpe Problem" (accessed Sept. 6, 2018). Declan McCullagh, "Google's Chastity Belt Too Tight," CNET, April 23, 2004. Daniel Oberhaus, "Life on the Internet Is Hard When Your Last Name is 'Butts,'" Motherboard, Aug. 29, 2018. Matthew Moore, "The Clbuttic Mistake: When Obscenity Filters Go Wrong," Telegraph, Sept. 2, 2008. This week's lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener David Malki. You can listen using the player above, download this episode directly, or subscribe on Google Podcasts, on Apple Podcasts, or via the RSS feed at https://futilitycloset.libsyn.com/rss. Please consider becoming a patron of Futility Closet -- you can choose the amount you want to pledge, and we've set up some rewards to help thank you for your support. You can also make a one-time donation on the Support Us page of the Futility Closet website. Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode. If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at podcast@futilitycloset.com. Thanks for listening!

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