Rush to find fossils explodes during opening of the American West
Jacobs describes the late 1800s as a period of intense fossil collecting. The Bone Wars were financed and driven by Cope and his archenemy, Othniel Charles Marsh. The two were giants of paleontology whose public feud brought the discovery of dinosaur fossils to the forefront of the American psyche.
Cope, from Philadelphia, and Marsh, from Yale University, began their scientific quests as a friendly endeavor to discover fossils. They each prospected the American frontier and also hired collectors to supply them with specimens. Cope and Marsh identified and named hundreds of discoveries, publishing their results in scientific journals.
Over the course of nearly three decades, however, their competition evolved into a costly, self-destructive, vicious all-out war to see who could outdo the other. Despite their aggressive and sometimes unethical tactics to outwit one another and steal each other's hired collectors, Cope and Marsh made major contributions to the field of paleontology, Jacobs said.
Hill first to identify and map the Cretaceous geology in North Texas
Born in 1858, Hill was a teenager when he left Tennessee as an orphan and arrived on the Texas frontier in 1874, says Jacobs' study. Hill settled in Comanche, southwest of Fort Worth, where he went to work for his brother's newspaper, the Chief. After earning a Bachelor of Science in geology from Cornell, Hill was hired as a field geologist for the USGS.
Hill is noted for being the first to identify and map the distinct rock formations in North Texas that correspond to the Earth's Cretaceous geologic period from 146 million years ago to 6
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Southern Methodist University